Treating the NHS

The NHS, our most treasured resource, is in serious difficulty. Its problems will not be solved by tinkering round the edges.

Radical measures are required. I have two suggestions, one concerning finance and one concerning administration.

The question of funding could be alleviated by the institution of a specific, progressive tax, payable by everyone, and dedicated solely to the NHS.

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Every adult receiving money in any form, be it wages, salary, business income or bonus, or state benefit, would be liable to pay, so that everyone would feel involved as a contributor.

Those at the bottom of the scale of earnings would 
obviously pay very small, 
almost insignificant, amounts. The highest earners would pay correspondingly much higher amounts.

Highly paid bankers, businessmen and executives etc might be asked to pay an extra super tax in return for which their names and contributions could be 
publicly acknowledged and 
exhibited – possibly in local hospitals and health centres.

The advantage of this system would be that everyone would feel a sense of satisfaction from being a contributor to an NHS in which everyone shared.

Far better than the negative feelings associated with the payment of general income tax where the specific destination of the money is unknown, or perhaps not even approved of.

The question of administration could also be alleviated by totally excluding politicians from the ­organisation and management of the NHS.

These functions should be handed over to a board comprising senior hospital staff – doctors, surgeons, researchers, nurses etc and GPs and academics with experience in the relevant fields.

Nowadays, the big decision that the NHS should be free at the point of use has long been agreed by all political parties and any further political interference ­resulting in endless futile reorganisations is likely to be unnecessary and harmful.

John Slee

Hopetoun Terrace