Care and crisis
Ask any Brit and they’ll have an opinion on how the current government handles the NHS. As more and more services seem to be sliced, diced and privatised, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the NHS is shifting further and further away from Nye Bevan’s original ambition for a medical care service that provided point-of-need help, regardless of wealth. Well, it shouldn’t surprise you that Labour’s Keir Starmer, the current leader of the Conservatives’ opposition, has an opinion. If Starmer has anything to do with it, the NHS is going digital… but is that solution just a fragment of a much bigger, more pressing matter?
This week, Starmer shared his vision for a new, digital mode of working within the NHS with the Guardian – if Labour’s leader gets his way, the service will be streamlined. Starmer blasts the current regime: “Tories have run the NHS into the ground with ambulances not arriving until too late, swift GP appointments a thing of the past and more than 7 million people waiting for treatment. But it’s about a lot more than that.”
NHS is going digital – what does this fix?
Yet to the average citizen, it’s not always apparent how the government’s edicts actually affect the outcomes; it’s obfuscated. On behalf of his party, Starmer has outlined a “health mission” that restructures the NHS from the ground up. Moving from an analogue system to a digital system signals a shift towards showcasing the UK’s flourishing life sciences sector, and utilising an entire population’s data to work on a truly national scale. With so much data segregated, it can’t benefit the bigger picture.
“we are announcing details of our health mission with the clear aim of making the NHS fit for the future – a prevention-first model and a shift from hospitals to the community so that illness is caught early and at home, not late and in hospital.”
– Starmer’s manifesto