Cut the fat - NHS
Britain's health service is failing to provide a world-class service to patients despite record levels of Government investment, a landmark report on the state of the NHS has concluded.
Record increases in staff pay, a plethora of Government targets and the demands of a growing obesity epidemic are all threatening to overwhelm the service, according to Gordon Brown's former adviser, Sir Derek Wanless.
His report found that most of the extra £43 billion pumped into the NHS by Labour in the past five years had been spent on large pay increases for doctors, nurses and consultants that had not yet delivered any substantial benefits.
And as a fig leaf they are putting the blame on "obesity" - expect the war on "lifestyle choices" to be intensified. The report actually says: "The Health Committee estimated the economic cost of obesity at between £3.3 and £3.7 billion in 2002, with around 30 per cent of these costs falling directly on the NHS. Increasing levels of obesity will mean higher costs in future."
So fatties cost a billion, I'm not sure if their premature demise which cuts NHS and pension costs is figured in, but let us call it a billion. To put this in context in 2002/3, again from the report, the actual spend on the NHS was £66.2 billion (total UK health care spend in 2007/8 will be around £113.5 billion - , which includes an estimated £17 billion attributed to private health care. As a percentage of UK GDP, total spend on health care in 2007/8 will be around 9.3 per cent, (at 2002/3 prices))
The problem isn't the bloated populace but the bloated system. A system that will fatter and more intrusive as they order us to obey their whims.