The Scottish NHS faces the same challenges as England´s NHS and Professor Graham Watt writes a succinct account of these challenges with a particular focus on addressing the inequitable distribution of health care ´the inverse care law´ (full article here). The current challenges to attract young doctors into some areas of our profession, such as General Practice, are better met if Scotland takes the initiative and tackles these challenges head on.
Scottish government is working with our profession in exploring new ways of working that underpin an ideological and political choice to ensure the survival of a strengthened General Practice in Scotland and its allied professions. There has been extensive legislation passed to provide an adequate framework to support national and local strategies and the professions which will provide health and social social care to vulnerable individuals who traverse the boundaries between ´health care´and ´social care´ spending. A new GP contract is also being negotiated which is not a straight forward task at a time when there are many unknowns in Scotland's future provision of health and welfare spending.
What is known however is that the SG has an absolute commitment to ensuring that the NHS remains a nationalised service and that health provision will remain free at the point of need. What is also known is that the UK is one of the lowest spending on health amongst the most affluent nations in Europe (OECD,2015) and that the spend on health seems to be related to the general happiness of a nation (UN, 2016). It is no surprise then that the generally happier nations have a higher health care spend because happiness and well-being are interdependent. Over the coming months NHSforYES will provide information sources, reference documents and professional insights into working in one of the most cost-efficient holistic health care systems in the world.
But it requires more than the voice of NHSforYES. In Scotland we all have a vested interest in understanding the challenges in maintaining our healthcare system, whether we work in the health service or are users of the health service. As a starting point to the discussion we should acknowledge that preserving the founding principles of universal health care which is free at the point of need is surely one of the greatest assets that we have as a society to pass on to the next generation.
To Read More:
OECD, 2015. Focus on health spending:OECD health statistics 2015.Report, OECD, accessed March 2017
UN World Happiness Report 2016, accessed March 2017