The NHS is a British emblem, as well as the pride and joy of the welfare state. However, demoting it to being merely an institution of insignias is rather ill-mannered to the true value it brings. At an invisible cost, the NHS saves thousands of lives every day. With services that better most countries around the world, there is much to be proud of with the NHS. Conversely, there are also a few things we’d like to change with our public healthcare system and here are the three most prominent.
Shorter Waiting Lists
This one has been on our wishlists for a while. Indeed shortening waiting lists seems to be the goal for every successive government. It has however remained an unresolved issue.
On one hand, due to the welfare nature of the NHS and the complicatedness of any healthcare system, waiting lists will always frustrate patients.
However, the national target is of having 90% of patients treated within 18 weeks of first referral. Despite this, it was recently reported in the Guardian that 18-week waits were up 43%. The problem lies within our annual budget cuts of 4% for the next four years, which doesn’t seem to be compatible with the NHS, a system that always needs 2.5% above inflation.
It therefore seems that the issue of shorter waiting lists is one tied with the economy and government policies.
Rising Medical Negligence
Now let’s not be under any illusions. Every health institution suffers from medical negligence. Mistakes are part and parcel of every job and aspect of human life and therefore we must come to accept it as part of our healthcare system. However, what we need not accept is the rapidly growing rise of medical negligence cases within the NHS.
Last year the NHS paid a record £1bn in medical negligence costs!
While some of this may be down to a notable and clear rise in medical negligence solicitors, the upturn of lawyers in this profession is not enough to account for the immense increase in the NHS bills paid out.
Not only do cases of medical negligence ruin the lives of those involved but it can also prevent others from having trust in their doctors, something which is essential for the health of our nation. We therefore want to see more efficiency and professionalism in the NHS.
More Efficient Maternity Wards
On the matter of medical negligence…
Maternity wards are the seeds of our society. However, the bill for mistakes made within them has nearly doubled within the last 12 months to over £420m.
This is something that must be looked into as almost everyone will at some point or another put their trust in a maternity ward. Obstetric mistakes in maternity wards throughout Britain have to be reduced to an unavoidable level.
The author of this article is Tahar Rajab, a young British writer. He was educated at Queen Mary College, University of London where he obtained an Honours Bachelors Degree in History in 2011. He has since gone on to write for a variety of blogs.