OPINION: Richard Branson And NHS Waste
So Richard Branson has successfully sued the NHS for £2million. Only someone as elitist and egotistical as him could do something like that. He is richer than most of us can dream of, even owning his own island. And yet even though most of us are just on an average salary we wouldn’t dream of suing the NHS as we value it too much and know if anything happened to us we would rely on it to look after us. I guess Richard Branson knows he can pay privately for whatever he wants. So he doesn’t care. That’s probably why he is a staunch Remainer too. Money. He knows he won’t be affected by mass immigration or lack of state-funded facilities or ever be short of a mansion or two.
I love the NHS. It really is the jewel in our crown. I must admit when growing up I took it for granted. We learnt about its creation in History of course, and then I felt really proud of us for having it. After all, ordinary people deserved it, after going through 2 world wars and a depression. It was time to look after us a bit. But why is it now in so much trouble? And why do we need to prop it up with so much money? What worries me is this idea that we should pay more tax for it. Yes, Theresa May has got it right when she says the money saved after leaving the EU could be spent on it. But I cannot agree that we should pay more tax. If that is the case, then why not charge people if they don’t turn up for appointments or waste doctors and nurses time, or call emergency services for a broken fingernail amongst many other things. In other words, if more money is needed, lest make sure we aren’t wasting the money it already gets.
So let ’s look at NHS waste. We have all read the stories of health tourists who come here specifically to have treatment and especially to have their babies. They then walk away without paying a penny, having sometimes cost us up to a quarter of a million pounds each. One of the most shocking things about this is the NHS usually haven’t even ASKED the so-called health tourists to pay their bill! Those who think this is minimal need to know that it isn’t, it’s extremely common for people to come here for NHS treatment who have no entitlement whatsoever and are here for no other reason. What makes it even worse is if we go abroad and need medical treatment a bill is sent to our medical insurer or even the NHS (if you have the E11 form). Double standards.
There is also huge wastage of medicines and equipment within the NHS. Nick Ferrari on LBC amongst others has addressed this on more than one occasion. The NHS is ripped off left right and centre by the companies that manufacture the drugs they use. One example is a Canadian firm that hiked the price of a drug up by 6000% over 10 years so it went from £ 4.46 to £258!!!! And so costing the NHS £100 million… a complete rip off and waste of resources. This is not the only drug they are ripped off on of course. There is no bigger waste than when it comes to anything state-funded because people either forget or don’t care that the money is actually from our taxes – so somebody HAS actually paid these sky-high prices – us!
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I sometimes wonder why we are so complacent about so many things. I guess we don’t really worry until it starts to affect us. But now it is affecting us and will do so even more as the country keeps filling up and also nothing is done about health tourism so we have to start paying more tax to cover the costs of the NHS (which many of us rarely use until we get very old, and have paid a lifetime of taxes). I’m not happy about paying more tax for the NHS until I know the wastage has been addressed.
Then there is all the waste with equipment – crutches and wheelchairs and so on that hospitals and doctors will not take back so just end up in the bin or in a charity shop (maybe). Why won’t they take them back? They would rather just buy new ones. And in this day and age when we are all being encouraged to recycle! Like I say its state-funded so no one seems to take responsibility for spending the money wisely.
The NHS is now inherently left wing which doesn’t help. It is full of Managers who also cost an absolute fortune. It never used to need all these managers – it was, of course, all introduced by Tony Blair. Extreme management is a socialist idea. The money would have been better spent on training our own doctors and nurses years ago. And I know from experience of visiting family and friends in a hospital that many agency nurses are employed at highly expensive rates to cover the shortage.
We know the staff who work in the NHS are fantastic – I have seen it first hand. But no one seems to want to address the huge wastage that is inherent in the NHS now. Any other organisation would not be allowed to run this way. It’s like the damage is so ingrained that anyone that works for it cannot see it. They just shout for more and more money. The people who want more and more foreign staff to be imported to work there cannot see that without dealing with the fact that if we controlled immigration and health tourism the NHS would not need so many staff. You can never sort the issue of shortage – whether staff or money – unless you deal with the root problem.
So yes, it is great that Theresa May has said the money we save from leaving the EU can be spent on the NHS. But would it really need all that money if we stopped the waste? And stopped health tourism… and also trained enough of our own doctors and nurses. (Nick Ferrari insists what the NHS really needs is a good accountant to stop it being ripped off and I wonder if he is right).
And what about other services that desperately need money? Like the Police and Defence. Both extremely important with the increase in violent crime (another thing that surely puts pressure on the NHS).
So yes, while I am happy that SOME or even a LOT of the money saved from Brexit should go on the NHS, I am not happy to pay more tax for it. No, certainly not while I see all this waste. I work hard and pay my tax. I’m not happy for it to be flushed away or paid to the likes of Richard Branson. No No No! Think again, Theresa.