Our government should be about investment in us…

Surely that should be why we elect them?

An interviewee on LBC suggests, quite reasonably that:

…the NHS has of course, a 100,000 staff shortage and that most of the private, supplementary ‘health’ activity is effectively NHS, both trained and employed and just staff working overtime – but not for the NHS.

This certainly gives the lie to the fact that the private sector doctors or nurses are ‘helping out’. As far as I’m aware there are precisely no private sector doctors or nurses (apart from those trained abroad) that are trained outside the NHS.

So, apart from the doctors trained abroad, this is pretty much a sham – those surplus doctors ready to ‘take up the slack’ and trained outside the NHS are almost non existent.

Thus ‘private’ interventions effectively steal doctors from somewhere else.

Yes, Cuba endeavours to ‘overtrain’ as it were (though I confess that I don’t know if those doctors sent abroad are ‘rented’ or for free) when they’re abroad….

But are either of those what the NHS is about?

Surely we have to invest in a health service as required.

Mind you, it would certainly be marvellous if we made a pledge to export those health service skills – that is much more likely to represent a ‘Global Britain’.

Proper investment in public health would be an equal advantage – for that clearly helps to prevent the NHS becoming a disease or illness service…

The interview also suggests that we need to invest in the NHS properly – not just announce that we’ve given the NHS a £billion. And in that context we ought to bear in mind we gave the Serco/ Harding test and trace system a mere £37bn.

In any event as most of us all know, doctors and nurses are a precious resource.

This is a resource, where, actually – unlike most of the money that this government so freely spends, you cannot spend (as, say, for KPMG consultants) in order to simply magic them instantly into existence.

Doctors actually require investment and materialise only after six or so years of that investment.

Of course doctors, even as state employees are somehow obliged to pay that ‘investment’ back.

Even when the investment is in fact making our society better.

Surely our government should see training health staff as simply investment in a better future for their electorate.

Funnily enough that same investment scenario would go for HGV drivers as well.

So isn’t that actually another reason why we elect governments – not just to protect us but also actually to invest in us.

Shouldn’t that be the proper test for the country’s elected government – has it actually, properly, invested in our futures?


  1. Schofield -

    When the government spends it does so using Reserves which it has a monopoly over creating according to the Bank of England and when those Reserves arrive in someone’s private sector bank account they’re turned into new Bank Money. “But the country needs to live within its means” say the right-wingers. “Would that be its people?” is the inquiry. “Don’t be so bloody silly!” comes back the reply!

  2. Andrew -

    To put it another way, private healthcare is parasitic on public provision. The high cost of training the staff is socialised, and the subsequent profits from their work are privatised.

    When taking about health spending, there at two points that always need to be included: the positive impact on wellbeing (which is surely one of the main reasons we have a government in the first place) and a multiplier greater than one (which means that the public purse gets back more than it spends).

    So, what is the argument against increased health spending?

    1. Peter May -

      A very good question, to which surely the only answer would be – there is no money!

    2. Schofield -

      The amount a government creates is progressively taxed back as it circulates within the the economy. The circulation doesn’t increase the actual amount it created – how can it? How much the government withdraws through taxation and charges depends on the state of the economy and the desire to “net save” in cash or government savings schemes like gilts.

Comments are closed.