Mark Dolan: The NHS is on life support - money is not the answer
'There will never be enough money for this organisation.'
Here is a terrifying statistic. In 2004 the NHS was responsible for 28% of public spending.
That is set to rise to an eye watering 40% in a year’s time.
Where does this end? Shall we go to 45%, 50%, 60%... Why don't we spend every single penny of the country has on the NHS?
The current crisis, which involves an estimated waiting list of 12 million people is largely self-inflicted.
To be fair mainly as a result of the governments lockdown policies, but also due to the decision by the management of the NHS to, empty wards, and send healthy asymptomatic doctors and nurses home for weeks on end in the course of the pandemic.
The NHS paid private hospitals to stay empty.
Surgeons and other frontline workers were unable to perform any procedures for months on end.
The backlog was policy, the waiting list, a health decision made by NHS managers and a political decision made by the department of health.
Let me be very clear, I adore our frontline NHS workers and what they've been through in the last year and a half has been extraordinarily demanding and at times hellish. We will never repay them for their work their commitment, their skill, their hard work, their empathy and their love. But the health service itself has huge problems that predate the pandemic.
As with so many institutions, its problems have been exacerbated in the last year and a half. But with all the money from income tax now spent on the NHS, there will never be enough money for this organisation which has in recent decades, under various governments, gone from being the national health service, to the National sickness service.
More money has gone in, but the outcomes have got worse with spiralling rates of type two diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Arguably the more money that goes in, the worse it gets.
And now they want more money.
Every consultation with a doctor – if you are lucky enough to get one - ends in the prescribing of this medication or that, whether it is for a physical or mental ailment.
Our health service is pretty much a dispenser of medications, not a preserver of human health. Keep taking the pills baby. Except the drugs don’t work.
The NHS has been a sacred cow and politically untouchable - we've got to endlessly applaud it apparently and in the last 18 months we’ve had to save it.
The people in it are great, but the organisation is now a massive white elephant, once the boast of the world, now a national liability which could literally bankrupt the nation.
It's time to scrap the diversity officers on 75 grand, for an organisation that is famously and uniquely diverse. It's time to scrap the senior and middle managers on six-figure salaries.
It's time for the organisation culturally to focus on prevention of disease, rather than management thereof.
NHS GP Dr David Unwin, explained to me he has reversed the diabetes of thousands of his patients by guiding them through changes to their diet and lifestyle. He cut their carbs. And with that he cut their medication, their expanded waistline, their symptoms and a huge chunk of his GP practises budget. So he saved money and he saved lives – what a novel idea! Why isn't every GP doing this? Why is he a minority voice?
The NHS is a slave to the toxic food industry that's making us all so sick, and is in the pocket of big pharmaceutical companies who are making billions not out of our health, but out of our illness.
The NHS is complicit in this, whether through arrogance or ignorance – probably both – and the NHS is an unending money pit. It will never have enough cash.
So it needs to improve its service, start seeing patients face-to-face, get over its obsession with Covid and do what it's paid to do, which is to look after the British people, not be saved by them.
The NHS is on life support. Money is not the answer, because there will never be enough. It must change or die.