The General Election's Big Issues: The National Health Service

Matthew Hodder - Writer

In this series of short articles, writers for InTuition will be looking at the biggest issues political parties need to deal with in the upcoming general election. In this article, Matthew Hodder will look at issues of funding within the NHS:

The fundamental issue that I would like to see given some serious attention in the next party manifesto regards the NHS. For years now, healthcare services in the UK have been suffering cuts and over-stretched services that are causing shortages of staff, longer hours for doctors and worst still, an increasing wait time for treatment.

Even basic trends like this one show how the situation has developed over the years of austerity.

Free-at-point-of-service health care is such a valuable asset to the UK, and to see it suffer so much is truly saddening as almost everyone relies on the National Health Service. One of the reasons, philosophically, why health care in general is so valuable is that it serves as a proxy for everything valuable to us. It means nothing to live in a free society, to have a nice house and such if your health is too poor to properly enjoy these things.

Further still, our health protects our autonomy as rational agents, our health protects our minds and allows us to truly decide that which matters to us in our lives. This is why when an over-stretched health service starts to threaten the efficiency of treatment, we start to lose one of our most valuable possessions: our health. Therefore, we need to see governments actively injecting resources and funding into our Health Services to ensure that the number of lives touched by it is maximised.

Admittedly the cost of an unbalanced budget might be a key motivator against, but I fail to see the value of a government’s reduced debt rather than the good health and efficient service to UK citizens as health is the most valuable thing we have.

Read the previous article in the series on our future relationship with the EU here


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