The recent election threw up many questions about the NHS, with health care ranked as the most important election point above economic and racial issues. One fact that did became obvious though, was that the government cannot really continue to fund the NHS and expect it to work as well as it has done in the past.
Increasing populations have led to longer and longer waiting times at NHS clinics and the lack of funding has led to far fewer referrals for patients. The NHS cannot compete in terms of pure survivability anymore either. Germany and the Netherlands both have higher survival rates of breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer.
A potential solution that has been suggested is to privatise the NHS or make people pay for certain treatments. Experts believe that many of the appointments made with GP’s are unnecessary and are wasting huge amount of NHS budgets. If people were charge a small fee to see their GP, it is likely that the number of appointments would drop significantly. With only those who actually need treatment going to the GP, this would lead to a far better service.
One of the complaints besides waiting times is that when you do finally get an appointment, the GP rushes you through it and makes you feel guilty for even coming. This is not really the fault of the GP, as they are targeted on getting people in and out as fast as possible. If GP appointments could be made more valuable and people felt they were being listened to, it could increase the likelihood of them assenting to paying a small fee.
Another solution could be a shift in the way we pay for the NHS. Means tested NHS contribution, like income tax, could lead to a better funded overall system, in which the wealthy help take care of the needy.