Health and the NHS Crises.

It was reported by the BBC late last year that over half of people in the UK aged between 40 and 60 years were overweight and drank too much alcohol. It was also mentioned that people within that age range didn’t exercise enough. The overweight aspect is the likely outcome of the excessive drinking and the absence of a sustained exercise regime. Today it was reported by the BBC that according to the British Red Cross, there’s a humanitarian crises in the NHS. I see a direct correlation between the physical health of the nation and the current state of the NHS.

The BBC report took the approach that due to the absence of appropriate funding, the are too few hospital beds for the elderly attending A&E, and too little after care to prevent the elderly returning to A&E. The crises can’t be laid at the door of the elderly exclusively nor is adequate funding a panacea. The causes are simpler. When people are overweight and/or the drink too much, if they don’t exercise they eventually burden themselves upon the NHS. The health problems are usually of their own making over the course of a lifetime, but because they’ve paid taxes all their working life they feel entitled to have the NHS (or the tax payer ultimately) manage their symptoms in a hospital.

Tragically, now the venerable NHS is in the words of medical professionals “on its knees”. There is no short term solution. There has to be a complete shift in attitudes beginning in the school curriculum from the age of 4 or 5: moderation in all things, don’t smoke, don’t over eat, exercise regularly, be happy and fulfilled. To address the current NHS crises we need to begin at square one.