Britain places considerable importance on health. It spends huge amounts of money on the National Health Service (NHS), of which it is extremely proud. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) provides us with the figures that demonstrate this.
In 2018 total current healthcare expenditure was £214.4 billion, equating to £3,227 per person.
- This accounted for 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 9.8% in 2017, and 6.9% in 1997.
- Total healthcare spending more than doubled, when adjusted for inflation, between 1997 and 2018. In 2018, it grew by 3.2%, its biggest rate of annual growth since 2009.
- Government-financed healthcare expenditure was £166.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 78% of total healthcare spending.
- Government-financed healthcare expenditure, in real terms, grew by 2.0% in 2018, and accounted for the largest contribution to growth in total healthcare expenditure, while non-government healthcare financing grew by 7.6%, largely driven by an increase in out-of-pocket spending.
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) was formed in 1948, it's objective being "to provide the best medicine for all the people, free at the point of need". However, the NHS now provides only conventional or pharmaceutical medicine for its patients - conventional medicine has become a monopoly provision within the NHS. This maans that (i) patients have no alternative, (ii) the success or failure of the NHS is entirely in the hands of the quality and performance of pharmaceutical medicine.
Natural medical therapies, such as homeopathy, herbalism, acupuncture, chiropractor, et al, have been effectively excluded from the NHS.
For the last 10 years, I written many blogs on "the NHS Crisis". Access to these blogs can be found by doing a search at the top of this page - "NHS Crisis".
In addition, my E-Book, "The Failure of Conventional Medicine", has charted in considerable detail why the NHS, year after year, has been falling ever deeper into crisis.
This is the first "State of the Nation's Health" blog but in future it will be published on a regular basis, in October every year. It will look at the performance of the NHS during the past year.
The Essential Characteristics of "Successful" Medicine
NHS was formed to tackle and overcome illness and disease. So how can its performance be
assessed? This must surely be done primarily on the basis of patient outcomes.
- A 'successful' medical system is one that can reduce the incidence of illness and disease.
- A 'failing' medical system will fail to do this. Instead, there will be an increasing number of people becoming ill; and people who are sick will not get better.
- A 'failing' medical system will cost ever increasing amounts of money and resources each year as a direct result of increased illness and disease, and the demands this makes on health resources.
These factors have become regular features of the NHS, with a depressing circulatory - an increase in illness and disease, increased and increasing patient need for treatment - and as a result an increased need for more money and resources.
This pandemic has further highlighted that the medical system that dominates and controls the NHS is failing badly, not only in the ways it has dealt with virus itself, but in its dire social and economic consequences too.
The pandemic has not changed the nature of the ongoing annual NHS crisis - it has just exacerbated it further.
Yet the government, the NHS, and the mainstream media (MSM) are now presenting the current problems of the NHS as the direct result of the virus. The virus has dominated every discussion about health for the last 20 months, or more, during which time British people have had to endure policies like social distancing, lockdowns, masks, experimental vaccines, the threat of enforced vaccination, and now vaccine passports. They have all caused severe social disruption, emotional distress, loss of employment and livelihood, small business failure, the disruption of education, and the loss and withdrawal of our freedoms and liberty.
Yet this so-called pandemic has really had little impact on the general nature of the health crisis.
- The monthly 5-year average death rate has not risen significantly in any month since the beginning of the pandemic. Certainly it has not been another Black Death, Great Plague, or even a Spanish Flu.
- Most of the 130,000 deaths attributed to the virus (defined as people who had a positive Covid-19 test 28 days prior to their death) were people with "underlying health problems", that is, people who were seriously ill when they contracted the virus. For most of the people who died, if the virus had anything to do with their death at all, it was 'the last straw, the straw that broke the camels back'. It was the cause of death in relatively few cases.
- It is also notable that official figures have shown that no-one died of 'normal' flu during the winter of 2020-2021, an extraordinary fact that raises suspicions about the manipulation of Covid-19 statistics, whether they have been exaggerated out of all proportion - for whatever reason pharmaceutical medicine had for doing so.
- The fear campaign frightened most people into believing that the pandemic was (i) "a serious threat to everyone", (ii) that there was "no available treatment" (meaning no conventional medical treatment). The campaign created a fearful population who were thereafter consequently prepared to forego their normal lives, and their freedoms.
The entire medical strategy to deal with Covid-19 is now being used to demonstrate that the NHS crisis was not the endemic, long-term problem we have witnessed for decades, but the unfortunate consequence of a new, deadly, rogue virus.
This medical strategy, imposed by government on the advice of conventional medical 'science', can be clearly seen (for anyone
who wishes to see). Yet response to, and the outcome of the pandemic have been little different to any
other NHS crisis in recent years - just more focused, and slightly more severe.
The hopeless and inadequate response of the NHS to the Covid-19 virus has meant that medical treatment for other areas of healthcare has been utterly disregarded. Staff who would normally have provided these treatments have been diverted to deal with the virus, and hospital beds have been kept free in case Covid-19 patients needed them. The consequence has been that patient waiting lists for medical treatment are now the longest since records began.
The number of patients waiting for treatment surged by over 200,000 in the month of June alone! The total number of patients on waiting lists has risen to an estimated 5.5 million. Most of these patients are waiting for treatment conventional medicine itself deems to be urgent and/or essential, treatments for cancer, brain surgery, heart and kidney failure, eye treatment, limb and organ replacement, and the like.
Moreover (if this was not bad enough) the government's Health Secretary has recently warned that patient waiting lists are likely to increase rather than decrease in the short term. Some estimates I have seen predict a phenomenal 14 million people could soon be waiting for 'essential' treatment by the autumn of 2022.
Such dire predictions have one of two purposes. They are either genuine warning about the NHS crisis. Or they are statements generated in order to extract even more money from the government. We will see.
- Patient waiting lists are a good measure of the size of the sick population, and the failure of the NHS to cope with their illness.
- Waiting lists that grow year on year demonstrate a population that is getting sicker, despite the medical treatment they are receiving.
- A government that has to ask the people 'to save the NHS' indicates it has little confidence in the medical system in which they are investing heavily.
The timescales for dealing with patient waiting lists are daunting. The Institute of Public Policy Research has estimated that 19.5 million people, who they estimate should have been diagnosed with cancer, have not been because of cancelled or missed referrals. They predict that thousands of cancer patients will die over the next decade "because of the devastating treatment backlog". They have calculated that it could take more than a decade to clear the backlog, that if hospitals could achieve a 5% increase in treatments over pre-pandemic levels, it would take until 2033 to clear the backlog. But of course they concluded that increasing activity levels would require yet more resources for more staff and new equipment.
This is what always happens with the NHS. Chronic disease increases, more money and resources are demanded, and provided; only in time for an increased incidence of disease, leading to yet more demands for money and resources. It is a familiar merry-go-round!
Epidemics of Chronic Disease
One of the main features of the NHS over the last 70 years has been epidemic increases in chronic diseases, such as allergy, arthritis, asthma, autism, auto-immune disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, mental health, osteoporosis, and many more. These epidemics, which show little indication of declining, raises important (but usually unasked) questions.
- Just how healthy is the UK's population today, especially when compared to 73 years ago when the NHS started, and particularly in recent decades when conventional medicine has taken complete control of the NHS?
- Is conventional/pharmaceutical medicine making us better, or sicker?
- Is the NHS winning, or losing the war it regularly declares on illness and disease?
I have charted the rise of these chronic disease epidemics here. What needs to be emphasised is that almost without exception the epidemic are still increasing, and are usually predicted to rise even further in the years to come. Just a few months ago I charted the rise of chronic disease on this blog, a just few months ago. The Daily Skeptic (one of the alternative media I look to for some honesty about health issues, entirely absent in the mainstream media, has updated some of these underlying trends. I will use some of their statistics in "Chronic Disease: Still no Cures in Sight" here, with thanks.
Obesity. In the UK 2019 figures show that 28% of adults are obese and a further 36.2% are overweight. Obesity incidence is now occurring at considerably younger ages, with 2019 data showing that 10% of children aged 4-10 are obese and 21% at age 10-11. The incidence of obesity is rising rapidly: there were four times as many hospital admissions with a diagnosis of obesity in 2016/17 compared with 2009/10.
Diabetes. 10% of all people aged over 40 in the UK are now living with a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes; this amounts to 4.7 million of us, expected to reach 5.5 million by 2030. This compares to 1.4 million in 1996. The problem is global; the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Between 2000 and 2016, there was a 5% increase in premature mortality from diabetes.
Autoimmune conditions. Many autoimmune conditions are becoming more common, with some increasing in incidence by as much as 9% each year. In the UK 4 million people are known to be living with at least one autoimmune condition, and many with several autoimmune conditions at the same time. Rheumatoid arthritis is increasing at 7% per year, Type 1 diabetes by 6.3%, coeliac disease by up to 9% per year.
Cancer. According to Cancer Research U.K., there are over 164,000 cancer deaths in the UK each year, which is about 450 each day. One in two people in the UK, born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. In the USA cancer incidence increased by 12% between 1994 and 2016; in the 1940s, one in sixteen had a cancer diagnosis; this had increased to one in three by 2018.
Dementia. There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK but this is projected to reach 1.6 million people in the U.K. by 2040. The global number of people living with dementia more than doubled from 1990 to 2016, while in the USA deaths from AD have risen 145% between 2000 and 2017. The USA Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that the number of people living with the disease doubles every five years beyond the age of 65. Most worryingly, those with early onset dementia have increased by 200% since 2013.
Cardiovascular disease. For some years cardiovascular disease mortality has been declining, despite increasing incidence of disease. However, in recent years, the rate of decline in CVD mortality has slowed in most developed countries, particularly at ages 35-74 years, and is now rising in 12 out of the 23 nations studied in 2017, including the UK, the USA and Germany.
Autism. In the UK there was a sharp increase in the prevalence rates of autism in UK schools between 2010 and 2019. Autism currently affects 1–2% of the UK population - that is 1 per 100 children and 2 per 100 adults. According to the USA CDC, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental disability, affecting 1 in 59 children (1970s: one in 5000). Prevalence has increased 10-17% each year over the last several years. It has been described as an ‘autism tsunami’.
One of the features of modern conventional medicine is the regular diagnosis of 'new', 'rare' diseases in children - for which there is no known cause - and no effecting treatment. I have listed some of these in this blog, and outlined my suspicion that they are caused by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.
These new and rare diseases continue to appear, without explanation, without effective treatment, and always without any investigation into their links with pharmaceutical drug and vaccine treatments.
What usually happens is that expensive new treatments, costing huge amounts of money per patient per year - without them ever offering effective treatment.
The Role of Pharmaceutical Drugs in the Failure of Pharmaceutical Medicine
Pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines are known to cause "side effects", or "adverse reactions", which I prefer to call 'disease inducing effects' (or DIE's). The link between pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines remains unrecognised by the conventional medical establishment (CME), so it is not properly understood by the vast majority of people. As I have argued elsewhere, the increased consumption of pharmaceutical drugs over the last 70 years has exactly mirrored the increase in chronic disease. Yet there may be early signs that the link is being recognised.
The UK government commissioned a review that has just reported. The review highlights the serious problem of the over prescription of drugs, and the problems caused by the known adverse effects caused by prescription medicines.
- It found that about 10% of all doctor prescriptions should not have been prescribed,
- that 15% of people are now taking 5 or more medications daily, putting them at an increased risk of suffering "adverse effects".
- It found that 1 in 5 hospital admissions of people over-65 were caused by the adverse effects of prescribed drugs.
- Doctors were told to reduce drug prescriptions in favour of social prescribing, and encouraged a ore 'holistic approach to individual health and well-being.
This may be the start of a growing realisation that increased chronic disease is, in large part, fuelled by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. But the problem is far larger and more serious than the review suggests. Moreover, it is unlikely to change doctors prescription habits. It has certainly never done so before.
For instance, in 2016, an article published in the British Medical Journal by Peter Gøtzsche, argued that prescription drugs had become the third leading cause of death. His article highlighted psychiatric drugs, and particularly antidepressant drugs. He quoted studies that "tells us that the system we have for researching, approving, marketing, and using drugs is totally broken". At the same time he questioned the efficacy of these drugs. He also highlighted the lethal qualities of painkilling drugs, especially NSAID painkillers, that are now taken by so many people, and which "carry a huge death toll", primarily by causing bleeding stomach ulcers and myocardial infarction.
Despite this article, and many other similar articles which have been studiously ignored, it made no difference to the prescribing habits of doctors, to NHS policy, or to the understanding of government about why they constantly increase NHS funding, yet continue to face demands for even more NHS funding.
NHS Resources and Demands for Increased Funding and Resources
This has been going on since the inauguration of the NHS in 1948. There is always too much sickness for the NHS to cope with, and when the government provides more money and resources, levels of sickness continue to rise.
So what about NHS staff who are under constant, and increasing pressure to deal with spiralling levels of sickness and disease. How are they faring?
The morale, retention and recruitment of staff, at all levels, and in every part of the NHS, continues to deteriorate. This has been happening for many years now. It is typical of any industry that is not doing well. If medical staff were working with sick patients, are making them well, these pressures would not exist. The job would not be easy; but the job satisfaction would make the toil worthwhile.
Yet this is not the case when patients get ill, and remain sick for many years, even a lifetime. So when the number of sick patients grows without end, and so never go away. When the treatment they have at their disposal does not treat patients successfully, there is a loss of morale. It is utterly depressing, and this can be seen in many of the things happening within the NHS now.
Doctors and Primary care
- There is an ongoing and worsening shortage of doctors, with 1 in 7 GP posts unfilled.
- GP retention is a long-term problem for the NHS.
- A Record number of GPs seeking mental health counselling amid media abuse.
- There are warnings that GP practices could close or reduce services this winter as pressures mount.
Patients are finding it increasingly hard to get an appointment with an NHS doctor, face-to-face, or on the telephone, many are becoming dissatisfied, and many resort to abuse and violence.
- Some patients are now so desperate they have been violent towards health workers.
- The BMA has called for patient expectations to be "managed" - as over half of GP's
are now suffering abuse.
It is unfortunate that too many patients continue to believe the NHS is able to offer them something that will make them well again, not realising that the problem is a lack of effective treatment, not doctors and other medical staff, denying them access to treatment that will make them better.
Mental Health Provision
- Children's mental health referrals are reported to have doubled during the pandemic.
- There has been a 50% increase in the number of children going to A&E with serious mental health issues since the start of lockdown.
- When added to the mental health epidemic prior to the pandemic, this means that almost a quarter of a million children now being prescribed antidepressants,
and as this article explains, this number is expected to increase because of the
disruption of children's lives and education caused by Covid-19
Hospital and Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E)
The failure of primary care doctors to offer treatment is then transferred within the NHS. Patients go elsewhere, transferring the workload from GP surgeries to Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments, and to hospitals generally.
The situation in A&E units is bad and getting worse. A monthly analysis undertaken by the British Medical Association (BMA), on "Pressure Points in the NHS" says that emergency department waiting times have risen, even though demand was lower owing the Covid-19 restrictions.
"Prior to the pandemic, the situation in A&E was increasingly catastrophic with demand soaring, the number of trolley waits being highest on record and performance against the four-hour target reaching an all-time low over the past winter." (My emphasis).
Hospitals also report a similar situation. The BMA analysis estimated that between April 2020 and July 2021, there were 3.79 million fewer elective procedures, and 26.02 million fewer outpatient attendances. The evidence of pressure is clear, so, for example, we have
- statements from acute medical doctors warning of unprecedented pressures, even during the summer period.
- Hospital are suspending all inpatient surgery because of bed shortages - again, in the summer period.
- Hospitals are already reporting that staff are "hanging on" prior to the usual 'winter pressures'.
The ambulance service is also under severe strain. One of the regular features of modern life is the ever-present sound of ambulance sirens, getting to sick patients, or rushing them to hospital. So it is not surprising that they, too, are under severe pressure.
- NHS Providers have mapped the pressures on paramedics, and the ambulance service.
- The Welsh ambulance service has asked for assistance from the army to relieve pressures.
Of course most of these pressures are now being blamed on the Covid-19 pandemic. But these pressures have been around now for many years, they have not changed, they have increased, but they they have been increasing, incrementally, for many years - with ambulances queueing outside hospitals, unable to discharge patients to free up capacity. The pressures always seem to be getting worse, despite increased spending and staffing. The residential care sector usually take the blame. Now it is Covid-19.
Financial. Funding Crises and the NHS
Despite the 'whatever it takes' policy adopted by the UK government at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and an additional input of some £2 billion, plus the £37 billion on the 'Test and Trace' fiasco, and much else, there are now further demands for more financial assistance for the NHS.
The Future - Conclusion
The NHS focus during the Covid-19 virus has been the delivery of vaccines. It has totally ignored the value of innate and natural immunity. It has never informed people about the importance of our immune system, and what they can do to support and strengthen it. Only vaccines would save us, we were told. The importance of the immune system, which natural medical therapies have always placed at the very centre of their medical practise, has been completely ignored.
The vaccines will save us. Nothing else can. Or so we are told!
This means that there is little prospect of change for the future other than more money being poured into the NHS, and being spent on the same, failing pharmaceutical medicine. So little will change.
So the crisis will deepen. The government is already warning us that the NHS may not be able to cope with another Covid-19 spike, so we are now being asked "to save the NHS" again, and to save Christmas too! It is we patients who now have to save the doctors! It is a dire situation which is unlikely to change.
- I will re-assess the state of the nation's health again in October 2022. And before that, in March 2022, I will describe the 2021-2022 NHS winter crisis.
- If my hypothesis is correct it will be the same old story. Except that it is likely to be even worse!
- If my hypothesis is incorrect I will be apologising to everyone. Conventional medicine can work successfully, it is not failing.