Justified & Ancient
- Dec 22, 2014
- Reaction score
- Wessex and Mercia
FWIW, I have had first hand experience of both the NHS and the French health service. The French system is widely regarded as one of the word's best and is a pragmatic and highly efficient collaboration between private and public.I think the problem is that the media - and politicians - overdo the 'envy of the world' thing. Viewed purely as a service and ignoring what means are used to pay for it, the NHS is not much different to health services in other wealthy countries. And there is no particular reason why it should be.
That's not a criticism.
What poor people in other rich countries envy is that you get free treatment without having to become destitute first.
Yes, yes, I know we pay for it through tax, but I'm quite happy to do that, because given my life experience I know that one can be well off one minute and 6 months later struggling.
My late mother-in-law was a nurse in the French system and had to be hospitalised once in England after having a bad fall when visiting us. Whilst pleasantly surprised that there was nothing to pay for her treatment, she was not so pleasantly surprised at the long wait to be seen and she did comment on nurses not getting changed when they left the hospital for a break and then came back in to the ward, still wearing the same shoes. That would never be permitted in France.
The UK could do a lot worse than modelling our system on the French one. To do that though would require a bit more funding for starters - i.e. higher taxes, and to lose the dogmatic belief that all things private are bad.