Author: Graham Brooks (University of West London)
In England and Wales we have an aging population and the cost of providing healthcare is increasing. Whilst demand for health services has swollen, and will continue to do so, funds made available for the NHS since 2010 have been low by historical standards. Due to perhaps negative coverage and criticism from the health care sector the Department of Health spent £124.7bn in 2017/18), £126.4bn in 2018/19, and will spend £127.2bn in 2019/20 on providing health care. Of the current level of spending in 2017/2018 £110 billion was spent on the NHS with the rest spent on public health (healthy eating habits), education, and infrastructure such as building new hospitals (Johnson et al. 2018). Out of these funds it is estimated that £1.25 billion per annum is lost to fraud (data from 2016/17, National Health Service Counter Fraud Authority, 2017). Extra funds, approximately £20 billion have been promised by the current Prime Minister for 2023/24, but it is as yet still unclear how such an increase will occur. The increase has been welcomed by the NHS but will fail to address the fundamental challenges that it currently encounters or help fund developments in services that are essential. One of these challenges is that elderly people are lying in hospital beds instead of at home due to a lack of people to care for them. This is a social care issue, though and dealt with mainly by local councils, but with cuts to services councils are unable to deliver much needed services to elderly people. Therefore, issues beyond NHS can affect its operational capacity and thus service to all citizens.
Keywords: criminology, healthcare, corruption, fraud
How to Cite: Brooks, G. (2018) “A sickness in the system”, New Vistas. 4(2). doi: https://doi.org//uwl.66