And that set me thinking – by how much are patients actually subsidising the NHS (in addition to taxation)? Because I doubt my situation is unique.
I have Stage 4 COPD. The recommended treatment for flare-ups is prompt antibiotic therapy at the first sign of purulence. In reality, that means a visit to the GP, who will then order a sputum test before prescribing antibiotics which, because of the NICE-engendered paranoia, will be inadequate (see my previous post on this subject).
That will mean I will have to go back for more, and repeat the whole half-arsed process.
Sick and tired of it, 7 years ago I started buying my own antibiotics – I have just ordered another 500 500mg Amoxyl capsules. Including VAT and the rip-off £8 Post Office fee – the only business in the country allowed to charge the public for collecting VAT – this will subsidise the NHS to the tune of £60.
I also, because I have hypothyroidism sufficient to cause the loss of most of my body and facial hair – but for which I can’t get treatment – have to buy Thyroxine tablets – £14 for 100 100mcg tablets. Dirt cheap at retail prices, they must be all but free at the prices the NHS pays
OK, the cost per diem isn’t a lot, but finding £60 out of benefit isn’t easy. And as I said, I wonder just how many other chronically sick people are funding at least part of their medication and saving the NHS money? When, of course, we shouldn’t have to. And the buggers still can’t balance the books
Now we’re told hospitals are facing massive closures, and patient care will go to hell in a hand-basket, because hey, the NHS is £20 million in the hole, even though they’re not actually paying out as much as they should in patient care, and the only idea they can come up with is wholesale cuts in service.
Well here’s an idea, especially in the light of this article today – cut down substantially on management and administration staff. Since the Thatcher era hospital managers have multiplied like mushrooms on a piss-soaked old NHS mattress, to the extent that hospitals now have far more admin staff than nursing staff – and no-one in the NHS thinks that a) that’s the wrong way round (here’s a tip, guys – having more chiefs than Indians is always wrong), and b) cutting admin staff would free up funds and avoid or drastically reduce closures and cuts in services.