Ten organizations, including medical charities and professional bodies are warning that Britain’s socialized medical system, the National Health Service (NHS) are at a financial breaking point. They will require an additional £30 billion ($48 billion) by 2020 to close their deficit.
The ten groups who sent the letter include: The British Medical Association, The Royal College of Nursing, The Royal College of GPs, The Alzheimer’s Society, The Anthony Nolan Trust, The MS Society, The Royal National Institute of Blind People, The Teenage Cancer Trust, The Family Doctor Association and The Faculty of Public Health.
The letter reads in part
The NHS and our social care services are at breaking point and things cannot go on like this. An NHS deficit of £30 billion is predicted by 2020 — a funding black hole that must be filled.
While we welcome the fact that the NHS has risen to the top of the political agenda, and some new spending commitments have been made, we need a comprehensive, fully costed, long-term spending plan if an NHS true to its founding principles of universal healthcare, provided according to need not ability to pay, is secured for future generations.
It must also take into account the need for vital social care. This will also require a guarantee that the NHS will be protected from another top-down reorganization which is not in the best interests of patients, and distracts from the severe, long-term funding pressures facing the health service. The NHS, social services, health and care professionals and above all, the British people, deserve no less.
Great Britain’s parliament is looking at ways to cut cut spending and slow down the growth of their deficit, but the letter seems to be demanding an increase in NHS spending to close that gap. And some are saying even if the present gap is closed there is more doom ahead.
Yet critically even if the short-term problems are addressed, the challenges of longer term sustainability of healthcare spending will remain. Despite planning the “largest and most sustained [fiscal consolidation plan] of any major advanced economy” an aging population will mean that, after a short-lived fall, spending on healthcare is likely to increase from 6.4% of GDP in 2018-2019 to 8.5% by 2063-2064, according to the government’s independent budget watchdog.
This is just another example of the fact that a government-run healthcare system is unsustainable Even worse is the fact the NHS is established in Britain, and is not the political football it is in the U.S.. British budgeting/projections are more realistic and the system is bleeding money. In the U.S. we have seen some costs have been hidden and revenues over estimated to lessen the political pressure on the program.
If NHS is bleeding pounds with “honest” projecting, just imagine what Obamacare is going to do?