“The NHS is killing us”

Britain’s National Health Service is the great symbol of that nation’s leftward turn following World War II. Historically, it has enjoyed broad popularity, even as the quality of health care actually delivered has fallen lower and lower. But now, the NHS has reached such a crisis that a return to private health care seems inevitable if not imminent.

In the Telegraph, Allison Pearson writes: “The NHS is killing us – it is an enemy of Britain.” Her piece begins with a horror story related by one woman who sought emergency care for a burn. The woman who endured the horror is quoted: “I just thought, ‘My God, what kind of country have we become?’”

[P]eople who were once true believers in the “national religion” are acquiring valuable immunity to the myth of the NHS’s saintliness. The blinkers are falling from our eyes. In the words of one despairing doctor: “The NHS is run by managers for the benefit of managers. Patients don’t count.”

… The NHS is the enemy of the British people, not our friend. That is a very hard thing to accept, I know, because it goes against everything we have been taught. They have even trained us to use the familiar “our NHS” to make a monstrous socialist bureaucracy that swallows £160 billion of taxpayers’ money every year sound like a lovable old member of the family, somebody you can always rely on. But you can’t. It’s worse than you can possibly imagine.

The NHS is now in such a state of collapse, so chronically kaput, that it is actually killing people. Men, women and children who should be alive today are dead because they were born British. Lost forever to their loved ones because Britain has a health service with some of the worst outcomes in the developed world.

Cancer, for example:

The fundamental problem is bureaucratic incompetence and indifference:

Many of us will know of relatives or friends who are too scared to go to hospital (because they think they will die of sepsis or neglect), who have spent several excruciating hours on the floor at home awaiting an ambulance, who have given up even trying to get a GP appointment (more chance of a blind date with a unicorn, quite frankly). Or they’ve found out that their “urgent referral” means an initial hospital consultation in June 2025 and have raided their savings to go private for their hip operation.

Why not go private if you can when the alternative is a sick joke? “One of my patients received four letters on the same day from our local hospital,” says the London GP, “two letters giving her an appointment on two different dates, and two letters cancelling them both!” That’s peak NHS for you.

Instead of trying to improve health care, the lefties who run the NHS are focused on “Left-wing identity bilge” like “ovary owners” and “birthing parents.”

Pearson is optimistic that things have gotten so bad that they have got to get better:

Reform UK has gone one better than Labour. Richard Tice’s party promises to spend the cash committed to the reckless, futile pursuit of net zero on tax relief of 20 per cent on all independent healthcare and insurance. That should incentivise those who can afford it to go private and free up the NHS for those who can’t.

This is the future. By 2050, every working person will have some form of private insurance supplemented by the state, I think. That same system, by the way, which operates in all civilised countries with far better healthcare than our own because they aren’t a cult member worshipping a grotesque, cruel deity called “our NHS”.

In a parallel universe, you might expect the disastrous experience of socialized medicine in the U.K. to deter American Democrats from trying to impose the same system here. But in our universe, of course, that is exactly what they are doing.

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