Lessons from British National Health Service (NHS)
- Investment in healthcare has great returns for the nation
- Need to invest in data management and sharing to enhance efficiency
- Investment on modern equipment to safe on operational cost and ensure efficiency
The British National Health Services has been in existence for the last 7 decades. It was established back in 1948 and it became a pioneer state health service provider in the world.
Now, it is a shell its former past. It’s the 5th largest employer globally. It operates on a budget of 110 billion pounds every year.
Currently the NHS has a staff shortfall and faces budget cuts which makes its future darker. The NHS is operating in an analogue. For instance, it still uses paper and fax. It is currently the largest purchaser of fax machines in the world.
Secondly, the NHS is still using outdated healthcare equipment. For example, the NHS is using equipment from the 1980s. This is unacceptable.
It is estimated that 1 million people use NHS services every 36 hours. This is a lot of data that can be harvested and used for decision-making. Unfortunately that is not happening. There is no centralized system which can enable doctors to access patient’s data. There is need for data integration between various components of healthcare service providers.
The challenge is how to ensure there is security and privacy of data that is shared by the NHS. This is a source of fear which must be addressed by the policy makers.
Right now, the NHS has a funding gap which is estimates to reach 20 billion pounds by 2020. Investing in healthcare is not a bottomless pit as many people tend to think.
“The best return on investment any county would make is through investing in healthcare is in health. A healthy nation means a productive nation. A healthy nation means economic growth. For every pound you spend in health, you get two pounds back…” – Lord Ara Darzi, world’s top surgeon and formerly a British Health Minister.
Let’s always embrace high quality in the healthcare sector.