The NHS

Topics which don't quite fit into any other category

Re: The NHS

Postby Rachel » 28 Mar 2013, 19:12

Gavin wrote:I've had a question for some time about the NHS, and it's this:

Apparently medical school is very difficult to get into, there are very few places, etc. If this is so, why is our NHS so massively staffed by foreigners?

...But if places in medical school here in the UK are so sought-after, why are so many NHS doctors foreign?


I wish I knew the answer.
I once asked a British doctor friend this. He said that it was cheaper to bring foreign trained doctors because it cost the government so much to train each British doctor. This was back when tuition fees were free. I did not believe the answer then. Now I know it is untrue because most people pay their own tuition fees now.

My theory is that it's down to a lack of doctors so they import in more. The lack of doctors is like the lack of everything and caused by the general disorganisation of the NHS. I also think that they should be trained better than they are.

I found this article that talks about why the NHS is not staffed on holidays while airports are, even though flying is a less essential service than a hospital. Perhaps the same reason is also connected to lack of British doctors leading to the import of foreign doctors.

...But then the airlines have to serve the customer to remain in existence, whereas when it comes to the NHS, there are far to many individuals and unions who are only intent on serving their own private interests. There is something seriously wrong when a non-essential service can be provided by a largely private industry, but an essential service like the NHS, provided by the state, fails to meet even their customers' basic needs and can allow people to die unnecessarily.


http://english-pensioner.blogspot.co.il ... mment-form

That doesn't mean that Britain should revert to America's model of healthcare but it does mean that the BMA doctors union professional body should have some of it's power taken away. All the NHS system the needs a different set up. I'ed suggest Germany or France's set up.

When I was a teen, I wanted to do something in Biology and thought about being a lab technician in a hospital, being one of the people who do blood tests etc. I found out that the salary was quite low considering the years of study and monotony of the job. It put me right off. So the NHS state monopoly is not even protecting the salaries of other professional workers other than the gods-in-person doctors.

I wish there was some deregulating of the system so that anyone with the correct degrees could set up a private lab and any patient without a god-doctor's consent could pay for serious blood tests or an MRI scan or whatever. The only thing that would need regulating would be to check that the results were reliable and as good as any NHS hospital. That could be easily done with frequent serious inspections.

The whole beaurocratic set-up needs tearing down and changing to one of the better European country's systems.
Rachel
 
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Re: The NHS

Postby Charlie » 31 Aug 2013, 06:59

Gavin wrote:I've had a question for some time about the NHS, and it's this:

Apparently medical school is very difficult to get into, there are very few places, etc. If this is so, why is our NHS so massively staffed by foreigners


Here's an article on that very subject.

For me, the key excerpts were:
Critics said it was ‘bonkers’ that British straight-A students desperate to become doctors were being turned away from medical courses due to government quotas while the NHS recruited staff from remote parts of the world with poor medical training.
*my italics

and

Professor J Meirion Thomas, a senior cancer specialist who works at the Marsden Hospital in London, wrote in the Spectator magazine: ‘Importing doctors from abroad on a regular and ongoing basis might not be a bad thing if there were any guarantee that the entry criteria to all foreign medical schools were as rigorous and as discriminating as our own. Also, that the quality of teaching and training was always as comprehensive as ours. But too often, it isn't.
Charlie
 
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Re: The NHS

Postby Caleb » 01 Sep 2013, 01:28

It's financial. Universities get a lot more money for international students. The NHS is obviously broke and it's a cost down thing importing foreign doctors. It's probably not just the pay. Would they be eligible for pensions or other such benefits?

It's probably also political. By importing doctors they break the power of doctors. At least in Australia, doctors are a pretty powerful group within their own circles and are fairly conservative too. I should imagine it's the same in the U.K. They would probably stand in the way of a lot of managerial "progress". By breaking them as a group, it would be much easier for liberal managers to control that institution too. With other institutions, such as teaching, it's pretty easy to capture that kind of institution because the entry barriers are quite low and it's also something that is far less scientific and more open to progressive ideology. That's not the case with medicine, so they had to go about it a different way. The military is the same, hence why they're breaking that with women who use it for the maternity leave. If they can't naturally take over an institution, then they will force the kind of membership they want on it or just break that institution.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Mike » 01 Sep 2013, 08:32

Caleb wrote:With other institutions, such as teaching, it's pretty easy to capture that kind of institution because the entry barriers are quite low and it's also something that is far less scientific and more open to progressive ideology. That's not the case with medicine, so they had to go about it a different way. The military is the same, hence why they're breaking that with women who use it for the maternity leave. If they can't naturally take over an institution, then they will force the kind of membership they want on it or just break that institution.


Old Gramsci would be proud.

You have to hand it to him, he was remarkably prescient. I see the march through the institution of education in action every day - just this term we've had a Green Week, a Social Justice Week, etc., and I'm ashamed to say that some of the teachers actually take it seriously. (Very few of the kids do, although of course they pretend to.) And one of the great ironies is that the great onrushing waves of PC nonsense have actually given rise to some dreadful examples of snake-oil capitalism. A case in point is a ludicrous program which our students in Years 8, 9 and 10 have been subjected to over the past few years, in which they are educated to become "global citizens" and design "community action initiatives", etc., etc. The bloke who's selling this program to schools (and very successfully too), using plenty of what you might describe as moral blackmail, is currently making an absolute mint out of it. And the senior executive at schools like mine, and the bureaucracy behind them, are either too blind or too cynical and careerist (probably a combination of the two) to recognise the glaring contradiction.
Mike
 
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Re: The NHS

Postby Elliott » 01 Sep 2013, 09:56

Mike wrote:I see the march through the institution of education in action every day - just this term we've had a Green Week, a Social Justice Week, etc., and I'm ashamed to say that some of the teachers actually take it seriously. (Very few of the kids do, although of course they pretend to.)

That's a very interesting statement, Mike. What do you think the kids think about all this stuff? Adults being silly?
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Re: The NHS

Postby Mike » 01 Sep 2013, 10:21

Elliott wrote:That's a very interesting statement, Mike. What do you think the kids think about all this stuff? Adults being silly?


Well, about a quarter of them see it as a great opportunity to boost their prefect chances, and so they act the part to perfection; the other three-quarters just go along with it and roll their eyes. They're quite unguarded about it with me in class, because they know I think the whole thing is a joke (I'm quite open about that). It's always comforting for me to notice that the average 15-year-old has a good deal more common sense than the average member of a school's senior executive.
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Re: The NHS

Postby Caleb » 02 Sep 2013, 22:52

Mike: No doubt they pay those guys a mint and and then go on to complain about a lack of funding in education. There is such a gravy train in any government organisation. Imagine how much gets collectively wasted! When I was in Australia Tony Abbott where was talking about this sort of thing (for how the Coalition are going to fund their policies if they get elected) and he mentioned that there was one government department that spent $180,000 on consultants to advise them about ergonomic chairs. He said they could have just gone down to Harvey Norman and asked someone who worked there to give them some comfortable chairs! Haha.

It's precisely that 25% of kids who play along to increase their chances of becoming a prefect who end up becoming the kinds of people who hold the purse strings for the gravy train thirty years later. The whole thing perpetuates itself.

Don't you get in trouble for being quite openly opposed to it all?
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Re: The NHS

Postby Mike » 03 Sep 2013, 00:57

Caleb wrote:Don't you get in trouble for being quite openly opposed to it all?


Not really. I'm open about it with the kids, but at staff meetings and the like when any of this comes up I just let my eyes glaze over, and share my cynicism later with other like-minded colleagues. (These are, ironically enough, often the old-left types.) Only once have I ever been warned to be careful what I said to other staff about these sorts of things, and that was actually a friendly warning from one of the aforementioned like-minded colleagues. One of my advantages is that I have no interest in promotion within the current DET setup; aside from the obvious need to pay homage to all the usual PC/corporatist drivel if one is to start upon that road, I did a stint as acting Head Teacher once and the executive meetings did my head in!
Mike
 
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Re: The NHS

Postby Rachel » 16 Sep 2014, 19:37

I was following the Ashya King story, which died out some time ago. This was when a little boy with cancer was taken out of Britain by his parents because they thought that in Spain he would get better treatment.
This justified a continent wide manhunt.
The British police pursued them and threatened to extradite them from Spain.
In Spain they were arrested and put in prison. Eventually they were released amongst a media blitz.

The only good commentary on this crazy saga was on this blog
http://www.samizdata.net/2014/08/ashya-king/

One comment said:

Not only are these people not being ‘equal’ (by seeking out treatment that others may not be able to afford) but they are not only robbing the NHS of a ‘customer’ *and* they need to ensure they can pay back the costs of the treatment the child has already received before they go seeking to ‘top off’.



According to the newspapers the little boy received his first proton beam therapy in the Czech Republic today. He has a good chance of recovery.
What I find odd is that a little East European country that came out of Communism has this proton beam therapy while in Britiain it does not exist. It is said to be too "too expensive" for the NHS yet does not exist privately nor either.
I sometimes suspect that the beaurocratic monpoly of the NHS holds back medical care advancements, or maybe it is something else?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/busi ... he-UK.html
Rachel
 
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