Reading the recent BBC article, below, on a third of the population in their late 40’s having multiple chronic conditions, is the NHS galloping towards a ‘perfect storm’ of demands?
As we’re (hopefully) emerging from the pandemic the impact of Covid-19 on the NHS is becoming startlingly clear. As we discussed in an earlier article, managing the backlog for other treatments is depressingly daunting, with the data showing if the NHS manages to increase supply at 5% a year (so doubling its growth) then it will take about 10 years to catch up! But what about the load that long-Covid will place on the NHS? The long-term effects of the virus are starting to become clearer and the burden this will bring cannot be underestimated.
Layer on top of the above an increasingly ageing population, with the pressures this brings to society; alongside surges in demand for social care and finally, the real whammy, the obesity crisis lying in wait in our adolescents, and you have to ask is the NHS heading for the perfect storm?
With these challenges coming together over the coming years, is the NHS sustainable? Is now the time to look at a completely different approach? Is a 2-tier public/private healthcare system looking more and more a likely option? Is the only way out increasing taxes and Rushi Sunak’s recent floating of an increase in National Insurance tax the resolution? Is it time for personal health budgets, so those that are using more than their share (and self-inflicted use) have to pay a premium? Controversial!
The real long-term plan for the NHS has to surely be the long-term planning for these demand pressures. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-57982476