Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Our adoration for an unreformed and unreconstructed NHS knows no bounds, the closest thing we now have to institutionalised religion according to some.
The reality for many, argues Sherelle Jacobs is very different. The key to a revitalised healthcare system, she says, lies in its embrace of new technology. Even the NHS cannot be insulated forever from its advances in a world that is now almost unrecognisable from the one in which it was established.
One need only look at its original funding model, based on projected health-care demands at the time, as a classic in mis-diagnosis which continues to bedevil it to this day:
“When the NHS was established in the 1940s, its spending was supposed to fall as people’s health improved. The opposite has happened, and demographics suggest that this is going to get worse. An ageing population poses huge challenges, not least by simultaneously leading to greater demand with relatively fewer taxpayers funding the system.
Squaring the circle – delivering better care just as more people need it – will have to be done around the world by technology. The NHS will need to adapt to the future, however painful the process, or be passively crushed by change. In the era of techno-healthcare, not even the British veneration of the health service will survive if it starts getting badly left behind.”
Extraordinarily, calls for radical reforms along the lines being suggested here, have come not from a former Tory Prime Minister, but a Labour one:
“The extraordinary potential for technology is palpable in a paper published by the Tony Blair Institute – a PM far more strident on health reform than today’s Tories. Along with quick wins like rapid diagnostic centres and more robot surgery, it calls for greater emphasis on patients taking control of their own health through wearable technology, as well as “levelling-up” smart hospitals.”
The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it: