The NHS Jobs Program


It was the tragic case of 73-year-old Mavis Skeet, said the Tory-leaning Daily Telegraph, that "came to symbolize the crisis in the NHS" during the early Blair-Brown years. After having her cancer surgery cancelled five times—it was first scheduled for December 1998; it was cancelled a fifth time in January 2000—her condition was declared inoperable. She died in May 2000.

In January 2000, as the situation with the health service worsened, Blair appeared on David Frost's morning program to declare that NHS spending was "too low" by European standards and a request a new infusion of cash to shore up the faltering system by adding doctors, nurses, and beds.

In a 2007 interview with the BBC (for the very good documentary "The Blair Years"), Blair acknowledged that around the time of Skeet's death he was "receiving letters from people—heartbreaking letters—about people waiting for their heart operation, their husband or their relative, and dying on a waiting list because they couldn't get treated quickly enough."

So while the NHS was denying life-extending cancer drugs to patients like Peter Herbert (because a year's treatment cost approximately £10,000), refusing to reimburse desperate queued up patients who had their procedures done abroad , and simply wouldn't tell patients about treatments deemed too costly, the system was using the new Blair cash to add bureaucrats at an alarming clip. The Daily Mail reports:

The workforce of bureaucrats in the NHS is growing six times as quickly as the number of nurses, according to official figures.

While the number of health service managers went up 12 per cent in one year, the number of nurses increased by less than 2 per cent—and the number of health visitors plummeted.

Since Labour came to power, the number of managers has almost doubled, partly as a result of the need to monitor stringent Whitehall targets on waiting times.

Not unlike this classic Yes, Minister episode, in which the employees union refuses to close an empty hospital because it would mean the loss of 500 jobs. Incidentally, the NHS is the largest employer in Europe, a fact of which they boast on their "careers" page ("It employs approximately 1.3 million staff"):

NEXT: The Partisan Wisdom of the Polls, Health Reform Division

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  1. But Paul Krugman says all of these horror stories are lies.

    1. Oh, I say a lot of things. Remember that time I said that generous unemployment benefits cause Eurosclerosis? Then I said that they didn’t! Ha ha ha, what a pistol I am! Seriously, you really shouldn’t listen to a word I say.

  2. I note that ObamaCare is ahead of the curve, here.

    It will thousands of IRS agents that we know of, and undoubtedly thousands more bureaucrats at other agencies, current and soon-to-be-created, and require that, yes, thousands more bureaucrats be hired in private industry to deal with the thousands hired by government.

    All without adding a single nurse, doctor, physical therapist, or even janitor to the healthcare system.

    Change you can believe in, bitchez!

    1. +1

      And +10 for the ending.

      (all your health care jobs are belong to us)

      1. I can haz chemo?

  3. It’s death veneer.

  4. Those stupid Brits. How could they be so damn foolish to let this happen to them? Wait, what?

  5. This shit is endemic throughout Britain. So many admin people and nobody knows what exactly they do or why it’s necessary.

  6. ‘Yes, Minster’ explains everything.

    1. Yes, I don’t think I really grasped what politics was about until I watched the first series of this show.

      The Brits may live in a socialist heckhole, but I’ll take Yes, Minister, Yes, Prime Minister, and The Thick of It over the West Wing any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

      1. Yes Minister & its sequel Yes Prime Minster were Margaret Thatcher’s favorite TV shows.

        She even wrote a script for a Christmas special for the show and appeared in it with the regular cast.

    2. It’s OK, but it’s no “Benson”

  7. Medicare has been known to deny certain cancer treatments as well. Someone was telling me this is why we need the government option, because the insurance companies are ruthless… without realizing medicare IS the public option, and that expanding it will just lead to more rationing.

  8. A challenge to all consertives: Write an article comparing our system to any other OECD nation’s EXCEPT Canada or the UK.

    Good luck.

    1. A challenge to all liberals: Write an article comparing our system to any other nations that takes into account non-healthcare related factors and the fact that their systems are subsidized by U.S. consumers because they purchase new drugs and healthcare technologies at cost while producing little of their own.

    2. Challenge to Chony – write an article comparing our system to any other nations that don’t rely on US military largesse for their defence, thus freeing up billions to spend on the welfare state + what Jordan said.


      1. Um all those countries spend less per capita on healthcare than the US. If anything, they can afford MORE awesome wars.

        1. Please note I did not say “spending on medical care”, I said “welfare state”. And “those countries” don’t have two nickels to rub together to spend on anything, because they’re going or are broke.

          So – we pull the military rug out from under them, let the Russians back in…and they’ll be back to the REALLY good old days of the social welfare state.

          But they’ll have teh Universal Healthcare, so they’ll be better off than us, for sure.

    3. You’re right, it makes sense not to expect that our stab at political health care would turn out like the countries we have most in common with culturally.

    4. Considering no one on this board is a “consertive”–in fact, no one at all is–maybe you should shut your dripping gob.

    5. A challenge to Reasonoids –

      Given that he never has anything to add to the conversation, explain why the fuck you bothered to respond to Chad’s fuckwittery.

      1. A challenge to J sub D — explain how commenting that commenters shouldn’t respond to Chad’s comments, in a threaded comment initiated by Chad, isn’t “responding to Chad’s fuckwittery”. 😉

  9. That’s 1.3 million voters who won’t ever vote for a politician who wants to dismantle NHS. They’re at least as much a drag on the body politic as the permanent welfare class.

  10. At least they have access to healthcare. Ignore the fact they don’t get it.

  11. It hurts me to know that I can’t figure out a way for them both to lose in November.

    We already know who the losers are, and it ain’t the political class.

  12. Unfortunately the voters in Britain still don’t want to get rid of their system.

    Mostly because the vast majority of people don’t really need health care. But they really want to feel safe knowing it is there. People put a religious faith in government. When all else fails they like to think God will help them.

    1. “Mostly because the vast majority of people don’t really need health care” Interesting statement but I would love to know what the hell you mean?

      1. Yeah, clarification would be nice. My patients would tend to disagree with that statement.

      2. Maybe there was a missing “catastrophic” and “at any given time”. Most people haven’t been in a position to get screwed, and thus don’t care. And most of them don’t have a personal basis for comparison either, so they just accept it even when they see people get screwed.

      3. He means that the vast majority are not in need of health care at any given time, so stories about dying while waiting for service don’t mean much to them. But they do like the security of knowing that it’s there if they need it.

        1. I’d rather hear Roversaurus expound on his comments; however, I guess Cult and Publilius do not believe in the right to fail. You’re the TARP of failed posters.

  13. I give up

    1. One libertarian down,99ish to go.

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  15. No wonder I’m screwed up

  16. I’m not quite dead yet…

    Oh, wait…

  17. Blair Brown years? Hey wasn’t Blair Brown that hot ginger chick who did all those nude scenes in Altered States?

  18. I don’t like the health plan. I don’t like it one bit.; Even assuming it is an attempt to mimic a European-style health plan, an assumption I do not make, this is not Europe and not Canada, and no attempt to copy Europe’s and Canada’s successes will result in even remotely predictable outcomes in the United States. We are not like them and what works for them isn’t the same as what works for us. Our laws are different. Our diversity is different. Our history is different. Everything is different.

    I wish I thought that was too obvious to mention, but I never see anyone point it out.

    One question still nags at me, though. I’ve heard the stories of the abuses in the UK, I’ve heard the reports of the number of people who fail to be given expensive but necessary treatment. But I’ve been ill in the United States, and I’ve been abused by the medical system here, and I’ve been turned down by my insurance company for expensive but necessary treatment (I lost a kidney out of it in the end). Numerically, what percent of sick people fail to get treated in the UK, as opposed to the percent of sick people who fail to get treatment in the US? I’m totally serious. I’m sick and tired of dealing with co-workers from overseas and Canada who are dead shocked at what I have to go through to get care. Why are they shocked, and why can’t I point at the comparative ease and effectiveness of our system over here?

    1. I don’t have any stats, but two points to note:

      1) AMA and insurance company cartels have kept prices of medical treatment horribly inflated in the US for decades now. It is a consequence of government interference with the market and it assuredly has caused people to go witout treatment, who otherwise would have had access on a free market.

      2) In the US, at least some people have (up to now) been able to get the high end expensive treatments. In the UK, socialist principles prohibit anybody (except the very rich) from getting anything more than any other person is able to have. So NOBODY gets the expensive treatments over there.

      Obamacare assures that we will get the same result here from now on.

      There are animal-creatures, both here and in the UK, who think this is a morally proper way to live. But whatever these people are, they’re not fully human.

      1. Actually, you know what isn’t fully human? The fucking hospital that didn’t let me know until an hour before my scheduled major surgery to try to save my kidney that they wouldn’t proceed unless I coughed up eight hundred dollars. I did not have eight hundred dollars. They did not proceed.

  19. So while the NHS was denying life-extending cancer drugs to patients like Peter Herbert, refusing to reimburse desperate queued up patients who had their procedures done abroad , and simply wouldn’t tell patients about treatments deemed too costly

    Remember folks, that this is NOT a death panel we’re talking about here. This could not possibly be an example of one in action. It has nothing to do with government bean counters deciding who lives and who dies.

    And whatever else you do, remember that Palin never-ever-EVER could have said anything that was true. She was just being bitchy when she said that Obamacare would bring death panels to the US.

    Repeat after me:

    1) This is NOT an example of a death panel, literally or figuratively.

    2) Palin can’t ever say anything that’s right.

    Palin is an air head. But nobody around here has come with 10,000 miles of convincing me that I’d be worse off right now with her in the White House, than I am with Obama in there.

    Of course, being gay and smoking pot are way way down on my list of priorities in life, which means I’m probably one of those right wing nut jobs that you really can’t trust.

    1. “Of course, being gay and smoking pot are way way down on my list of priorities in life” Glad to see you have made your bucket list.;-)

  20. We need a bumper sticker:

    Democrats do it because they love you, and Mother Earth more (I mean too).

  21. I’d rather hear Roversaurus expound on his comments; however, I guess Cult and Publilius do not believe in the right to fail. You’re the TARP of failed posters

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