We're all going to pay for the NHS's 70th birthday bailout. Before long, it'll need another. How will we pay for it?by Tom Clark / June 18, 2018 / Leave a comment
Published in July 2018 issue of Prospect Magazine
The NHS was a robust 60 year old. But it looks so frail as it notches up three score years and ten that Theresa May, who used to resent the “ring-fencing” that protected it from outright budget cuts, has decided it needs emergency treatment.
That is no surprise to the experts: today’s NHS has endured the longest squeeze in its history. Budgets have crept up, but not fast enough to keep pace with the big pressures like ageing, and at only a fraction of the rate it has previously required.
After the largesse of New Labour, the service initially coped on rations, but this is no longer so: waits are up, operations cancelled and winter is becoming an annual crisis.