The UK may have universal healthcare, but that doesn’t mean it’s doing a great job of providing it. A new OECD report says that within the developed world the country has the worst system, and as a result of lack of investment people keep dying for no reason whatsoever.
The damning new report raises many questions as to what the UK is doing to keep healthcare on track, and why it’s failing.
Most hospitals suffer from shortages in both personnel and equipment. The report should do well to worry David Cameron who has turned the other cheek to the trouble that NHS has been in. The system would need the addition of around 75,000 doctors and nurses for it to be able to function properly.
Expecting the current staff to be able to improve healthcare is a bit ludicrous given that they are too overworked to be able to get their own jobs done, let alone introduce enhancements. The study looked at healthcare in 34 different countries and the UK has quite a bit to do before it can catch up.
According to the report, healthcare access is not particularly problematic in the UK. People are definitely able to find help if and when they need it. It’s the quality of the care they receive that has left a question mark on the current policies that are at play. The NHS has trouble getting even the “basics” down the way they should, largely because it has not seen any investment during the last six years.
The UK held the 21st position of 23 countries in terms of citizens surviving cervical cancer. It ranked 20th out of 23 nations in terms of bowel and breast cancer, and 19 of 31 countries in terms of stroke survival. The country is also ranked at 20th out of 32 countries in terms of heart attack related deaths.
UK also needs to keep its people in check. Some bad habits are resulting in big health problems. The consumption of alcohol and obesity are not helping matters. While the average across the other countries showed that 19% of the people were obese, the UK had 25% people suffering from the issue.
Mark Pearson, OECD Deputy Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, has gone on record to state that medics are too pressured to be able to improve on the skills they have.
“At the moment in the NHS I think there is the risk that people do not have the time to do that. What they are doing is going through the processes … rather than being a learning organization, an organization that can improve,” he said.
He also stressed that while there had been no investment between 2009-2013, it was about time things changed. With healthcare the amount of effort that is put into the system will make itself obvious, and the UK healthcare system is no different.
The average number of doctors and nurses across the countries were 3.3 and 9.1 for every 1,000 people, respectively. The UK on the other hand has 2.8 and 8.2 per 1,000 people, which is alarming. Other experts suggest that the gap can be covered with over 26,500 more doctors, and 47,700 more nurses – which will account for over £5bn in investment a year.
Jeremy Corbyn will probably be having a worried laugh. Only recently he went after the UK Prime Minster to find out whether trouble was on its way once winter hits. If the OECD report is to be believed then he was spot on in his analysis.