THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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To the barricades

Why do people in Britain not rise up in arms against the farce that is the NHS? Mrs P just called for a GP appointment and was told the earliest available is in TWO WEEKS. What kind of medical service is that!? And the joke is the doctor called *her* to say she needed to see her urgently and she should call to make an appointment.

Fortunately, Mrs P is seeing her (private) consultant today anyway. The soviet doctor really only seemed interested in acknowledgement of her role in the case (which - from our point of view - is only as gatekeeper to services sadly not available privately, such as oxygen supplies at home). The state's GP (please don't tell me that in any sense she works for us) matters very little to us right now. God help us if that ever changes.


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Your guy is not rationing properly if he maintains a roster of patients he can't serve. He is (as is inevitable in any monopoly producer cooperative, public or private) putting his interests as a service provider above those of the patients. In a competitive private system, his prices would rise to reflect the demand for his services and patients would move to competitors. Given a choice, many would prefer a lower-priced (perhaps younger and less-experienced or less personable) doctor who was more rapidly available, or just cheaper. Your ability to "persuade" them of the urgency of your case or the aparatchik's exercise of "pull" is, in the context of service provider rationing, the socialist equivalent of hard cash.


In Canada (all public - no private system) unfortunately that is the case with my physician also. But not because of the system, he is just so busy due to being "popular" because he's a good doctor, although he hasn't taken new patients in years. Of course he keeps some emergency appointments open each day but you have to get past the Nazis who run the front desk to get one. Thank goodness when necessary I have been able to "persuade" them but I have known people to be told to go to Emergency at the hospital which is a totally inappropriate use of that service.


I had a particularly brutal interface with the NHS a few weeks back. If I can help it, never again.

Thoughts are with you.

Andrew Duffin

Tom, Tom, have you forgotten that the NHS is the envy of the world?

john miller

Two weeks wait?

How on earth did you manage to get fast-tracked?


There's not much difference when you are a contractor to a monopoly customer though, is there?

Henry Crun

I honestly can't understand the left's argument about handing money over to "private companies".

Firstly, GPs are not employed by the NHS. They are contracted into the NHS. Therefore a GP Practice is already a private business that provides services to the NHS.

Secondly, I personally don't give a rat who provides the treatment as long as I get better.

Patrick Harris

GPs, in my opinion, have not yet realised the power they weild, god help us when the it hits them. They will be able to refuse or delay treatments of all sorts, the like od you or I, being lone voices in the big scheme of things will have to knuckle under or.... die.


"The soviet doctor really only seemed interested in acknowledgement of her role in the case..."

And the money they will get from the state for ticking the box to say they've carried out an appointment with one of their 'flock'...

Man in a Shed

One of the things that most annoys me is this refusal to criticise the NHS ( or the English NHS as it really is ).

Nick Clegg's attempt to save his career by destroying the NHS reforms is amazing hypocrisy - even for a Lib Dem.

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