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UK considers dropping unsustainable socialist healthcare system


National Health Service

(NaturalNews) Touted by American progressives as a gold standard of care that the U.S. should utilize and that Obamacare sought to mimic in many ways, the top physician for Britain's National Health Service (NHS) has claimed it is "not fit for the future," and without major changes, the system may have to abandon it's primary feature -- free care for all.

As reported by Britain's Daily Mail, Prof. Sir Bruce Keogh, the medical director of NHS England, says that the healthcare system has to become far less reliant on hospitals and overall needs a "complete transformation" in the way it operates.

In an interview with Britain's Guardian newspaper, Keogh sounded the alarm.

"If the NHS continues to function as it does now, it's going to really struggle to cope because the model of delivery and service that we have at the moment is not fit for the future," he said.

For one, he noted, general practitioner offices have to be provided more resources in order to deal with added pressures of demand and tightening budgets.

The nation's top physician went on to say that, in order for the healthcare system to remain viable, additional services would need to be consolidated under the same roof, such as diagnostic testing and a wider range of treatments at the offices of general practitioners.

"If not," he said, "we will get to a place where the NHS becomes unaffordable and we will have to make some very difficult decisions which will get to the very heart of the principle of the NHS and its values."

"They get pushed from pillar to post"

Continuing, he said, "This will open up a whole series of discussions about whether the NHS is fit for purpose, whether it's affordable, and whether the compact with the citizen of free healthcare for all is sustainable in the longer term.

"Too many patients find the NHS fragmented (and) confusing. They find that they get pushed from pillar to post; they feel like a ball in a pinball machine at times," said Keogh.

The NHS chief went on to deny allegations that ambulance services, emergency rooms and general practitioner offices were struggling to cope with dwindling resources, even though wait times for some of those services are the longest they've been in a decade. In fact, the Daily Mail noted, three of 10 ambulance services in England have been forced to declare a critical alert during the past few months.

Still, Keogh said there was no "crisis."

"Everybody that's working out there in the NHS knows that they're under a lot of pressure at the moment," he said. "They don't like the term 'crisis' being applied willy-nilly.

"It's an evocative term which is also provocative and is used too freely for the wrong reasons," he added. "It's a period of unprecedented pressure, of undue pressure. But the NHS is facing very difficult times, yes. The word 'crisis' implies that you can't deal with it."

He stated further, though, that frontline services were currently "going through a critical phase" but said they would eventually recover.

A spokesman for the Department of Health, who was not named by the Mail, said things were under control.

More needs, fewer resources, more cuts - Obamacare?

"In common with healthcare systems around the world, the NHS is facing unprecedented demand, but undermining the principle of services being free at the point of use is not the answer," said the spokesman. "Instead, we are backing the NHS's plan for the future and have provided an extra £2bn in funding next year to transform out-of-hospital care and meet the needs of an ageing population."

In an interview with The Guardian, Andrew Gwynne, the acting health minister, said, "We have long warned that the collapse of community services would drag down the NHS and that is what we can see now that hospitals have record numbers of older people who can't be discharged. Labour agrees with Prof Sir Bruce Keogh that a key part of the way to make the NHS affordable and sustainable in this century is to give patients more care where they want it."

As Natural News reported in September 2012, Britain's healthcare system has been struggling for some time, and could be a precursor for the U.S. medical system, now in the clutches of Obamacare: NaturalNews.com.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

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