The NHS (The National Health Service) has long been exemplary of quality healthcare in the United Kingdom. Not only this, but the service has also been made a point of public pride throughout the country. After all, public support for the service is so strong that any political party seeking to privatise the service is widely reported to be committing ‘political suicide’, meaning that the NHS is thought to be untouchable in terms of how it runs.

However, as the service is publicly funded through taxation, it makes sense to guard the service against privatisation and business fuelled goals. The NHS often serves as the rope in a political tug of war, so it’s important we consider the consequences of privatisation in more detail. Below are a few of our musings.

Investment

For the NHS to go private, it’s priorities would need to be radically changed and repurposed. At the moment, the NHS uses investment to boost general practice services to take care of their patients. However, because of privatisation, the patient first mindset would be replaced with the principles of the corporate world. Consequently, the NHS would need to find another means of funding, principally through investment instead of tax payer money.

While companies such as Hymans Robertson can provide great investment consultation, even a strong path forward here will isolate many patients from the care that they need. Patients lose their ‘free’ healthcare the moment tax is no longer used to fund it, and without the public funding, many sick and disillusioned peoples will no longer have access to the care that they need.

Profit

Any business needs profit, and the NHS would adopt business traits and objectives as part of its privatisation strategy. The need for cash through investment will only grow, and much like America’s healthcare, the service will be fuelled by money. Consequently, many people will need to turn to health insurance to pay for any outstanding operations and services.

Of course, the NHS has never been strictly problem free. However, turning it into a cash cow will present more problems than it solves, particularly for those with little money to spare. There has already been a demand for increased mental health services, which would obviously be side-lined in favour of funding the service.

Politics

Of course, the most impactful knock-on effect would likely be found in the politics of the situation. A privatisation of the NHS would undoubtedly cause uproar, especially among the public and British Labour Party who together created the service. After all, the Labour party created the service to be free at the point of use and claim to be keen to improve the service, so a privatisation would rob them of their goals and ideas.

Ultimately, this would be the biggest point of division in the fiasco and would likely divide people based on their political beliefs and values. The NHS has always been a staple in any general election and, would become more crucial when the voting public comes to make further judgements and decisions on who is leading the country. In the end, the switch up would be far more impactful than a tweaking of a more obscure policy; it would change the core values of Britain at large.

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