19 November 2016
A letter to the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald by Green Party member Alan Marsden
Which countries have the most bankruptcies caused by medical bills?
Actually only one. The USA racks up 643,000 bankruptcies due to medical bills every year. Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, Canada, Netherlands, and UK have no such bankruptcies.
The USA spends 16% of GDP on health services whereas the UK spends 8.5%, Germany, France and the Netherlands spend about 11%.
According to the the Commonwealth Fund, a Washington based foundation which is respected around the world for its analysis of the performance of different countries' health systems, the US Health Service is the worst on many counts. The best was the UK.
Between 1997 and 2009 UK health service spending rose from 5.9% to 8.5% Since then it has flat lined.
We all know that the Health Service has been struggling in recent years. We all know that our GP Surgeries are near collapse. So when regional Health Chiefs and the Minister Jeremy Hunt say it is not about the money, we know they are being economical with the truth.
We know that the National Health Service is being carved up to facilitate selling off into a USA style system. We know that this is an ongoing project by the Neo-Liberals in the Tory government.
We will not soon forgive any government that cripples by under-funding our treasured and widely admired National Health Service.
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