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Old 08.08.2018, 20:16
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Re: The Brexit referendum thread: potential consequences for GB, EU and the Brits in

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The NHS was actually created at a time that Britain was a much poorer place than it is today. If we could afford it then, we can afford it today.

The government at the time decided they wanted not just a safety net for the poor, but a quality service for everybody, regardless of income. This encompasses a philosophy that says, state support is not just there for the poor. This destigmatizes the service. If the NHS was only there for the poor, anybody going there would have that stigma. It's also a clever psychological trick. A person on middle income or above probably never gets as much back in terms of government service as they put money in. But because they get something back, they happily approve of the spending. This is the same reason the government pays for things like the opera, museums, restoring old castles, or making parks in rich areas of town etc that actually are more for the amusement of the rich.

And its in times like today that everybody is doing austerity, and austerity is often about going for the easy targets, the low hanging fruit. This means many projects that are not strictly necessarily for social reasons but that have emotional value will get cut. And this alienates sections of the population who are not poor and not uneducated but can, once their allegiance is lost, cause considerable trouble.

See rise in populism etc.
The NHS was, and is, a great concept, some great hospitals, leading medicine practices and surgery.
Sadly it never in practice achieved its goals for the average person. For a variety of reasons that are too long to list here.

I remember 30 years ago in February in a UK hospital in Surrey with my son who needed a minor surgical procedure. The surgeon offered a date in November.
I offered to pay for the operation and it was done the following Tuesday.

Just demonstrates the NHS could work well if properly implemented.
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