National Health Service emerged as the result of the population need to be provided with the necessary support, help in health care, and complete control of human health recourses. The world situation had been covered by unstable and uncontrolled functioning of this human aspect; nevertheless, hundreds of years after the NHS inception such factors as population shifts and climate change influenced the formation and functioning of the service making it different from the one we have now.
At the beginning of the XX century, the need of the population in an effective health service influenced the organizational structure of the NHS. The emergence of the organization was closely connected with the situation when the system of health care was perceived as the crucial one; it was crucial because of the major five giants at the period of post-war reconstruction:
- Disease (Moore, 2001).
The conception of the NHS was considered to be the noble one providing advanced technologies, medicines, and medical knowledge. The beginning of the NHS functioning took place in the society which was disciplined by the war events; people had the desire to make health care be a part of the civilized society. Thus, the position of the NHS was considered to be more or less fixed undergoing various changes connected with the development of state development. The tempo of the NHS promotion was connected with the construction of new hospitals and medicine centers (Wanless, 2002).
A brief analysis of the NHS formation at the beginning of its development allows us to evaluate the differences considering the contemporary situation and status of the health organization. The National Health Service is considered to be understaffed, underfunded, and to suffer great pressure on the part of the New Labor. The recent situation is rather eventful for the NHS. The boom experienced in the spheres of financial markets and property, political swing, and pension crisis has influenced the status and sphere of influence of the NHS. Substantial immigration was caused by new countries’ accession to the European Community. Costs spent on treatment have increased rapidly. Such situation is closely connected with the improved capacity of the curative medicine, increased price on various drugs used for controlling such diseases as AIDS and cancer, sharp development of psychiatry, etc (Creavy, 2002).
Care rationing of the NHS has always been observed on the international level. NHS has undergone rapid organizational changes. Non-invasive surgery continues its development and is about to improve the quality of personalized treatment. The changes were followed by new financial flow systems. The pressure on the part of new labor appeared to play a crucial role in the development of some separate sectors of NHS. Being under the scheme of PFI (private finance initiative), a lot of private companies managed to sign the great majority of contracts according to which they are entitled to new hospital buildings renting them to the NHS. This conception will provide the NHS plans formation for the next 25 years.
Nevertheless, services provided by private companies are far expensive. As result hospitals are to cut beds and reduce jobs in order to be able to pay bills. The present authority managed to assess the refurbishment costs covering about 30 million pounds payment. So, the government allows private sectors to earn a lot on the health care system development making the service price almost unavailable for the national budget. Thus, BUPA, health provider, fulfills control over the funds for running and managing the surgical unit. Despite all unavailability the patients of NHS will compulsory use it and taxes will be paid; all these factors will allow BUPA to get the necessary profit from the service (Change in the NHS. The Scottish Government, 2008).
NHS makes special stress on the development of pharmacogenetics. Clinical studies concentrated on the fact that systematical assessment of cost-effectiveness can help to solute important ethical and social problems connected with the financial and health care side of human life. Next year NHS is going to spend over 11£ billion on various effective drugs in order to improve the state of the patients who are at risk. The pharmacogenetics basis developed by NHS provides sufficient medicine for the clinical practice and laboratory tests of the patients. In the future NHS is to link the sphere of Pharmacogenetics with information technologies in a more profound way. Now health genetic data is analyzed through computer programs. More through clinical practice and computerization will lead to the improvement and broadening of Pharmacogenetics functioning (What is the future for Pharmacogenetics, 2008).
In comparison with the previous century when people knew what free medical service meant, the contemporary situation is completely dependant on the financial aspect and private interests aimed at getting profits and certain benefits from the service. New Labor failed to get reorganization to make NHS democratized. For example, from 2003 the community health councils have been abolished by the New Labor because of the lack of interest in their role as the representatives of the Department of Health. One of the central issues of the NHS needs concerns better integration between primary care, hospitals, public health, social services, and occupational health.
Contemporary tariff system and financial flow resulted in NHS finances instability. Labor managed to introduce a new system of regulation. It was a kind of step to the modernization process. So, as a result, the following principles became the background of the renewed structure:
- Competitive providers. It allows hospitals to stick to changes (“failure” prospect, the payment got by results, money, etc.)
- Affordability and cost-effectiveness. It means various legal contracts, tariffs, and commissioning.
- Active purchasers as this principle can provide purchasing power and commissioning;
- The service should be patient-based;
It means that the center of the health service should concentrate on the patient’s choice providing additional capacity and expanding and improving the independent sector (Wanless, 2002).
So, the central point of NHS at present time is the private sector. These organizations got an opportunity to build and run the hospital providing their practice. This issue plays an important role in the sophisticated market structure. The development of NHS plans is merely concentrated on the perspectives of private clinical service. Thus, comparing contemporary NHS position with the one observed at the beginning of its formation one should stress that it has changed completely. The modern medical system focuses on the financial position of the population rather than on the human health state (NHS Next Stage Review: Our vision for primary and community care, 2008).
The problem is that health services in the modern world can be compared only with the lottery. It is directly connected with the social and financial position of the patient. So, being at the moment of serious illness in the state of bankruptcy means a serious threat to one’s health because the quality of the provided treatment will not satisfy the necessary level. The only way out is considered to be a social transformation within the community. Thus, socialism will make NHS work under the complete control of democratic workers. As a result of the problems of pollution, poor housing and poverty will be tackled and the service which had been free and available a long time ago would be promoted among the population of all layers and statuses.
- Change in the NHS. The Scottish Government. 2008.
- Creamy, Anne. 2002. What Future for NHS? Public Health. The Socialist Journal Publ.
- Wanless, Derek. 2002. Securing our Future Health: Final Report. HM Treasury, London.
- Moore, Andrew. 2001. Waste in the NHS: The problem, its size and how we can tackle it. London.
- NHS Next Stage Review: Our vision for primary and community care. 2008. BBC News.
- What is the future for Pharmacogenetics? 2008.