It’s always good to see old friends and it was a particular pleasure to welcome former member Andrew McHugh whose subject was ” his thoughts on the NHS”.
In many ways, he said, the NHS is a victim of its success with huge advances in the treatment of both acute and chronic illnesses. The chances of us surviving, for example, heart attacks and strokes are many times more than 70 years ago.
Many medical conditions are now controlled by therapy which didn’t exist then and the outlook for cancers has completely changed – and continues to improve almost month by month. We are all living longer and diseases such as TB and Diphtheria are now a thing of the past, although we must remain vigilant.
On the downside, health style related illness has increased dramatically, particularly diabetes and hypertension, both due to obesity and lack of exercise.
Our national spend on the NHS is approximately the same as most other European countries as a proportion of GDP. This is much less than the USA and Singapore, in the latter case where good life style and exercise with it’s benefit to health are rewarded by an annuity on retirement!
Is the NHS doing a good job? We agreed that it was but we, as consumers tend to take it for granted and could do much to help by living sensibly.