Welcome to our new series on NHS Hot Topics 2017! These blogs will cover one recent piece of medical news from this year in detail.
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There are many challenges facing the NHS, from an ageing population to evolving healthcare needs. This blog will focus on a key challenge: NHS funding.
‘Underfunded’ is a word many people use to describe the NHS. The demand for NHS services is increasing year on year, so the problem of “underfunding” is actually caused by the demand growing at a greater rate than the funding, creating new pressures on the NHS.
So what exactly is causing the demand on the NHS to increase so rapidly? There are many factors, including an ageing population, evolving healthcare needs, and medical advancements, which undoubtedly save lots of lives every year, but also push costs up considerably. It is estimated that progress in medical technology costs the NHS at least an extra £10bn a year.
So, how can this problem be solved? How can we sufficiently fund the NHS? There’s no easy, simple or right answer to this question, but broadly speaking, there are two ways to do this:
In terms of increasing the funding, this could be done by increasing taxes or perhaps even introducing a separate health tax.
The alternative approach of reducing expenditure can be done in several ways:
In your interview, you might be asked:
Remember there’s no easy way to solve these issues (otherwise it would have already been solved) so be prepared to openly discuss the potential downsides of every suggestion you make.
Words: Masumah Jannah
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