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What Is The

Future Of The
NHS?

Contents
Overview ................................................................................................................................................. 3
Pharmacies .............................................................................................................................................. 4
EU ............................................................................................................................................................ 5
GP Surgeries ............................................................................................................................................ 6
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 7

Overview

Following the Conservative victory in the General Election 2015 held last week, there has been
uproar within the leftist ranks of society over what they see as the party of the rich looking out for
the rich. One of the biggest causes of contention has been the alleged Conservative intention to
privatise elements of the NHS. Although the details of future plans for the national health service
have not been published publicly just yet, this has by no means stopped the negative speculation of
things to come.
Created in 1947 by a Labour government, the NHS is famous worldwide for the high level of welfare
support it provides the public. The service offers all UK residents free healthcare, while other
institituions elsewhere often incur costs through insurance after treatment, or even up front in some
cases. With this as just one reason for the nationwide support of the NHS, any potential legislation
or agreements threatening of restrictions or privatising elements is understandably being met with
hostility.
So here are just some of the crucial aspects government cuts to the NHS could affect the indiviudal.

Pharmacies

Already people are feeling the effects of healthcare cuts as the University of Warwick’s campus
pharmacy is being forced to close its doors as NHS England is not able to provide the financial
assistance required for its continued running. The M W Philips Pharmacy which was based in the
Student Union building served over 6,000 students and 5,100 staff members, over 500 of which are
disabled.
The pharmacy, which was previously funded through The Essential Small Pharmacy Local
Pharmaceutical Services (ESPLPS) that has since been scrapped, has been rejected from several
other funding schemes and thus is being closed.
The closing of such a heavily relied upon service has instantly given rise to the state our national
health care is going to be under if further privatisation is realised. While other institutions may
survive the cuts, budgets may still be restricted and therefore integral services will have to be
reduced. While there are opportunities with pharmacy supplies and medical expertise to be
bargained with, cheaper deals agreed and perhaps reduced but not abolished, many elements
crucial to our pharmacy could well survive. Yet with such drastic measures for the students at the
University, fears as to the future of the NHS are building.

EU

Another source of contention with the Conservative election success has been the
speculation on the UKs involvement with the EU. Having been a member since 1973 under
Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson where there was a 67.2% majority voting to join what
was then the EEC. In order to remain an EU member the UK treasury has been asked for
£1.7bn though to leave will have serious implications.
While already a significant proportion of the UKs healthcare is private, dentists,
orthodontists, opticians and prescriptions are all paid for by the individual, or at best
subsidised. A report from the head of the NHS, Simon Stevens, roughly estimated the NHS
would require additional funding of £8bn by 2020 to cover shortfalls seen to date. So if we
were to continue our membership with the EU there are fears for 1) if we will be able to
keep the NHS and 2) If we will be able to afford to have it running at a manageable standard
Whilst still a member of the EU as it stands we are able to keep our healthcare system as we
wish. Yet while the matter is under dispute in Great Britain, the matter of healthcare under
the EU must be considered. Those on the ‘to leave’ side claim that we will no longer be
pressured into harmonising healthcare across Europe. Yet by leaving the UK independent, it
may well be privatised which is also unfavourable.

GP Surgeries

As it currently stands, visits to a local GP are free, with prices covered by the NHS. Yet many
NHS doctors are reportedly working for private healthcare alongside their national duties.
While there are no confirmed rules against this, private healthcare benefits from the long
waiting lists of the NHS and so with polarised benefits of each it is difficult to successfully
straddle both spheres.
The Labour party wished to repeal the 2012 Health and Social Care act in a bid to reverse
the Conservative coalition government’s changes during their last term, yet with the
Conservative win, fears for the protection of GP surgeries have returned.
The Conservatives have pledged that over 75’s will receive same-day appointments and
there will be seven-day GP availability nationwide. Yet many believe that this is not only
unachievable but ‘cherry picking’ which patients to appease. Such an approach has given
rise to fears that the Conservatives will buy out certain demographics in order to smooth
over the failing of the NHS and cover up its demise into private healthcare.

Conclusion

Regardless of one’s political standpoint, the future of the NHS is a concern to anyone in the UK. It is
yet to be clear whether our healthcare system is safe under the Conservatives or whether it ever
would have been under another political party. If it is to withstand the economic and social pressure
that it is under it is clear that changes need to be made, yet it is with the political affiliation that
these changes are implemented that people are concerned. But with the Conservatives in power for
at least the next five years