However in today’s modern world the NHS has become a lumbering dinosaur burdened by bureaucracy and red tape. If you look at the staffing figures you’ll see that of the 1.4 million people employed by the NHS only 700,000 are clinical staff like doctors, nurses and physical therapists. Under Thatcher and Major we saw a small number of non-clinical staff, which once 1997 came was rapidly increased to the place where we now have a 50/50 split of clinical/non-clinical staff. Not once in any of the private sector companies I have worked for has there been an imbalance like that.
If we want an NHS for another +60 years then we need to act now and bring the service in to the twenty first century; as there is no point in having a twentieth century company working in the twenty first century.
The NHS needs modernisation, and if that means to get the best possible services for the people of the country we have to involve private companies then we should embrace that. After all the surgeons doing the operations in the private sector are the same surgeons who also work for the NHS. If these private companies bring down the cost of having operations done, with the same people doing them, then again surely that is the best thing for the NHS. If we can save billions of the NHS budget and redirect that money to clinical staff it’s win win.
The labour opposition to the reform of the health service is opposition for opposition’s sake. In their own manifesto for 2010 they said the following;
“We will support an active role for the independent sector working alongside the NHS in the provision of care, particularly where they bring innovation,”
So they themselves have said that the private sector working within the NHS is a good thing as they can bring in new ideas. Yet now in opposition they are looking to score cheap political points by opposing the very thing that they would have done had they been elected.
So we are now faced with two options, we can support the reform of the NHS that will make it better and stronger and ready to deal with the needs of the twenty first century or we can oppose the reforms and leave ourselves with an outdated antiquated heavily bureaucratic system that’s not fit for purpose. I myself only see one viable option and that is to back the reforms 100%.