Shape of things to come? UK NHS plan secret cuts to health services, hospital closures

Well, this certainly couldn’t be more timely. The vaunted UK government-run, socialized healthcare system that so many of our leftwards leaning fellow citizens tout as the model to be emulated is apparently collapsing under its own budgetary weight. The National Health Service (NHS) has drawn up plans (in secret and not to be released until after the next general election) that would lay off thousands, cut medical services, and close hospitals:

The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped.

The plans have emerged as health chiefs draw up emergency budgets that cast doubt on pledges by Gordon Brown to protect “front line services” in the NHS.
Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country.

The proposals could lead to:

  • 10 per cent of NHS staff being sacked in some areas.
  • The loss of thousands of hospital beds.
  • A reduction in the number of ambulance call-outs.
  • Medical professionals being replaced by less qualified assistants.

The plans are contained in a series of internal NHS documents uncovered by The Daily Telegraph.

That’s their plan? If you’re sick, e-mail your symptoms and the doc will e-mail his advice to take 2 aspirin and call him in the morning? Those plans, as I mentioned, were supposed to be kept from the public until after the next election, presumably to keep them from considering the causes and effects of these actions when deciding for which candidate and party to cast their ballots.

A friend of mine recently spoke glowingly of the UK health system, saying she had family over there and was always a bit envious of the health care “they get for free.” I responded that it’s not free. The UK citizenry is paying for all of it. It just looks free to people who don’t pay attention to where all the money is going to – and, more importantly, coming from. Of course, one wonders just how careful people are using a resource that allegedly costs nothing.  The sad part about all the gushing commentary is that the lines for medical care over there are long. Access to medical apparatus for treatment is extremely limited resulting in long waits, and that’s evident in the survival rates of serious illnesses like cancer and diabetes. Compared to our medical capability, there’s nothing going on over there that’s worthy of the praise. And yet…

This is the shape of things to come under the government-run healthcare system signed into law this week. And we can’t afford the drain to the economy. As I’ve said all along, we needed reforms. We just needed to do it in a more reasonable manner and in a fashion that didn’t put it all under a government bureaucracy.