“Your money or your life?” The demise of NHS Direct highlights a critical national dilemma
As NHS Direct becomes the latest victim of free market economics, Richard Kayser passionately advocates prioritising the saving of lives over money …
One article goes on to state that across the rest of the country, tens of thousands of calls are going unanswered, other patients are given poor advice, and there have even been three deaths linked to the service.
This situation leaves two important questions:
- can privatisation work within the grounds of our healthcare system?
- should lives be put at risk by a service recognised by some as an alternative to going to see your GP?
As the Government tries to reduce the cost of the NHS, surely this is a prime example of the private sector not being able to work within the remit of our NHS. Surely we need to stop looking at ways our NHS can save money, and actually look at ways we can better treat patients.
In the short term this may cost more, but in the long term it will lead to fewer complaints, fewer claims and, more importantly, it will save more lives.
Can we really put a price on that?!