Who funds the NHS?

Carrying on the thread from the post below about public funding for airport security, there is a related issue to do with the National Health Service. The one thing that most people in the UK are happy to contribute their tax pounds to must be the NHS. But it may not be prepared to come through with the goods when we need it to.

FFS, it’s spending comically inflated sums on a new computer system. Drugs that will give sight to the blind or another 5 years to people dying of kidney cancer are obviously too much of an expensive luxury after that.

Tony Wilson – former Granada TV presenter, creator of the independent Factory Records (Joy Division, et al) , styled “Mr Manchester” by fellow Granada TV presenter Gordon Burns – has kidney cancer. And lo, he finds that the NHS won’t pay for the drugs that would almost certainly give him 5 years more life.

The view expressed by his local health authority and National Institute for Clinical Excellence is that these drugs are too expensive (at over £2k) and aren’t a “cure”. Tony Wilson says that, although not a cure, the main doctors in the field regard them as essential. But obviously, £2k is too much to pay for one individual to live another half decade or more…

Well, Tony Wilson can pay, or his showbiz chums can pay for him. But, he is, unselfishly, campaigning for all the other patients who can’t come up with £2k to save their lives.

Similarly, there is a treatment for macular degeneration (age-related blindness) that is also considered too costly. So, if you suffer from macular degeneration, depending on where you live and whether you are already blind in one eye or not, it’s possible that you might get it. Then again, you may not.

This stuff is not even remotely rational. If the health service budget is stretched to its limits, take more money from us. Or, maybe try some more ruthless cost-cutting.

Like, don’t give Prozac to everyone who seems a little unhappy, for a start. Don’t lash millions of working computers and replace them with a multi-billion computer system designed to leak everyone’s personal information at will, but ready for the one occasion a year when you need to book someone from Dorset into a hospital in Aberdeen.

Some insignificant fragment of it is MY money, right? If I ever get kidney cancer or go blind, I’ll happily let the NHS use my computer, but I want the best treatments.

[tags]blindness, cancer, health, kidney cancer, national health service, nhs, public spending, medicine, tony wilson, Health Service[/tags]

6 thoughts on “Who funds the NHS?

  1. Lets be honest the NHS is in need of more financial support but also it needs propper re-organising from all concerned, as in top to bottom. Successive political parties have made little head way at all with the exception of spin related successes. £10 billion for a computer system that still dose not work, little or no funding for the mentally ill and so on. Also the public should be held accountable for certain costs as in alcohol related injuries, unnecessary call outs for the ambulance service and GP’s. Also the NHS needs to look from within as perscribing costs are increasing but no where in relation to the financial gain made by certain physicans. The so called manegement structure within the NHS is shambolic to the point total anarchy within certain nursing bodies who resort to nothing else but bullying to make dedicated staff leave only to replaced by inexperienced staff.
    We as a nation must stand up to this or the NHS will slowly but surely disappear sooner rather than later.
    I must say not all NHS staff are evil minded , twisted, greedy far from it, its there paymaster’s……

  2. Hi Heather

    Nice post, thanks for helping to raise awareness for Kidney Cancer and the NHS lottery.

    I wrote a similar blog about Tony Wilson…


    Having had Kidney Cancer myself this year I’ve suddenly been made aware of this stupidity and unfairness

    In frustration I even created a web-site for all patients and carers… hope it helps. I’ll put a link up to this article on our rolling news


    Thanks again


  3. Andy

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Since writing this, I have read that the amount of money needed is still a lot more than the £2k i quoted., more like £2k a month. It still seems like good value to me and even more devastating for those people who couldn’t raise it – which means most of the population.

    I really hope you are well. I am awestruck by your site. It looks amazingly useful.

  4. Hi Heather,

    Andy flagged up your blog on kidneycancerresource.com, you will find loads of backup to your sentiment on the site!

    I note your comment on the blog about kidneycancerresource.com thanks it was great to find that the work Andy & I have done is starting to look good and pay off – I’m another Kidney Cancer patient/survivor SO FAR!!!

    Firstly thanks for Raisiong Awareness of Kidney Cancer – we are trying to raise awareness and provide help to ALL who are Challenged by one or more of the 5 Urological Cancers. We would really appreciate any ‘plugs’ you or others can give as early diagnosis saves lives!

    I think you can count on the site not letting anyone who visits it down – we started the site in early July so it can only get better 😉

    Greg L-W.

  5. Greg. I had to edit your post because for some reason it was not showing up properly here.

    To try and resolve this, I ended up having to strip out the URLs you included – which is unfortunate.

    Hopefully, I can repost them here Kidney Cancer Resource.com and it should work now.

    I really have no idea what is wrong with the comments thing which causes this.

Comments are closed.