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Tuesday 6 August 2019

Health issues and Politics. The General Election in Britain. December 2019.

All signs suggest that there will be a British General Election before the end of the year. It will focus mainly on Brexit issues, but like all elections in the UK since the end of the second world war, and the inauguration of the NHS, health will play a central role. This blog will focus on these health issues, how important political parties consider them to be, and the role it plays in the result of the election.

This is the first blog, others will follow as the issues emerge in the coming weeks. The basis of the blog will be to explain and extend my explanation of the importance of health in British elections which I wrote in my E-Book, "The Failure of Conventional Medicine", and specifically the chapter, "The Politics of Health Provision". It will examine certain statements I made in that chapter.

  • Health is good - so spending on health is good.
  • The NHS spends money on conventional medicine - so it must be best.
  • Traditional medicine is ignored - so it cannot be any good
I predict, (in advance) that these (and other) false assumptions will underlie the basis of the political debate to come, and that the inevitable result will be that Britain decides to spend still more money on a medical system whose failure is spiralling out of control.

6th August 2019
Ever since Boris Johnson became prime minister an election looked a distinct possibility, the only way he might be able to guide his party through its disastrous progress towards Brexit. At the weekend political pundits have seen the first clear signs that this is Johnson's intention, or at least his expectation. And what did these 'clear signs' consist of?

Still more spending pledges on the NHS, involving £850 million for 20 new building and infrastructure projects for NHS in England. This will fund new wards, intensive care units and diagnostic centres, and an extra £1 billion to improve and maintain existing buildings. This new spending commitment will mean that the NHS has now been given an extra £7 billion in the financial year 2019 to 2020.

The response of the Labour, the official opposition party, has been predictable, and twofold.
  • It is not enough, the NHS needs more money
  • Is this actually 'new' money - basically a technical issue about whether this is a real increase in NHS resourcing.
So the bidding process has started, and we can certainly expect further bids to be made during the course of the campaign.

Meanwhile, the NHS continues to play its predictable role. They are grateful for the government's increased spending commitments, but they are not sufficient. They need more.
  • there are 100,000 vacant posts within the NHS, and it is struggling to cope with the growing demand for health services.
  • NHS buildings and infrastructure requires £6 billion rather than £1 billion to deal with the problems they face.
The mainstream media, predictably, goes along with this. When journalists interview politicians questions are asked about why there is not more money for the NHS, pointing out the parlous state that the NHS is in. To confirm this journalists then interview NHS medical staff who predictably confirm that the NHS is in a parlous financial state, and are given the opportunity to outline the areas where more money is required.

So the problem with the NHS is that it is under-funded, under-resourced. There are no problems that the NHS could not resolve - if only political parties would agree to give them more (and more) money.

The debate has not gone further than this, and I confidently predict that the debate will go no further! The political parties will not question why pumping any more money into the NHS now will make it any more effective than the ever-increasing amounts of money money that has been pumped into it since 1948.