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Thread: The current state of affairs

  1. #61
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    Politically I am even handed (I hate them all)
    I do blame labour for the financial mess in this country,although the world situation obviously hasnt helped - Broon and 'Mandy' were purposely frittering away money because they knew they were going to lose the election and they were happy to bankrupt the country to give their successors an impossible task.
    Those 2 (broon and mandy) made my skin crawl

    However I agree with Tony T about the mess that this lot made of the 'SDSR' - yet more billions+ capability wasted,the harrier may have been a fairly expensive a/c to operate but it is all we had for close air support (the Tornado is totally unsuitable for that role).
    The really annoying thing is that we can afford to have well equipped armed forces...we just choose to squander money on other things...including that vast black hole called europe (EU)
    The F35/carrier looks to be going the usual MOD/govmint expensive absolute c0ck up,why oh why do we always try for the Rolls Royce solution when actually the Ford version will do very nicely,the F35 B is an overcomplicated dog - we could have had cheaper/simpler carriers and conventional a/c !

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by T-21 View Post
    Nothing wrong with the NHS . I wish Cameron and the politicians would get out of London more and talk to real people .
    There is much wrong with the NHS, please refer to my post back on page one.

    Moggy
    Real person
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  3. #63
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    With the changes going on in the French elections, I can see Cameron's special relationship with France going out of the window and the joint military posturing disappearing overnight.

  4. #64
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    I found the following "comment" in the Sunday Telegraph comments section.
    I cannot personally verify the (alledged)points raised in it.

    Interesting conertations for the future of the NHS.


    "The govt has handed over Hinchingbrooke hospital to Circle Healthcare, who have promised cutbacks on expenditure.

    Two of the major shareholders in Circle Healthcare are donors to the Tory party. Doubtless, we are to assume that this is a coincidence. Similarly, the fact that former Tory Health team member Mark Simmonds MP is also a paid strategic advisor with Circle Healthcare is also I am sure, a complete coincidence.

    Part of the agreement with the govt involves Circle Healthcare annually skimming off £2 million profit of any surplus. One assumes that any reduction in expenditure made will be exactly the same as reduction in expenditure made if Hinchingbrooke hospital was still managed by the state. Ie, cutting down on operations, increased waiting lists etc.

    Thus, I would really like to know how handing over this
    hospital to a private healthcare company (whose CEO is Ali Parsa a former Goldman Sachs executive) who will skim
    off annually £2 million pounds in profit, will help either the hospital to reduce its debts or our economy?"

    Are these the changes that the NHS need ?

  5. #65
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    But 'The State' as you put it has only succeeded in running up £40m worth of debt running the hospital. So do we just write it off and continue to fund financial incompetence for ever, knowing it will soon be £80million, then £120 million, or do we hand it over to somebody who won't make a farthing out of the deal until the losses are stopped?

    Serious question.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  6. #66
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    serious answer........

    If actions such as those elluded to in my post above become widespred. There is no chance what-so-ever of the party responsible being re elected for a considerable length of time.

    In my humble opinion the British public vote on two matters really:
    AA/ Do I have money in my pocket ?
    BB/ The NHS.

    It would be so much easier to consider potential positivies if it was'nt for the typical involvement (alledgedly) of Conservative politicians or donors.

    It doesnt matter what anyones position, who's right or who's wrong. the electorate in the UK will always vote to protect the NHS at all costs.

  7. #67
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    But do you 'protect' it by continually pumping more and more money into it?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  8. #68
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    Well........

    As elluded to by lots of people on here the NHS has to change. It has to because we are all living longer. That I accept.

    However in my humble opinion its the way Cameron and Osborne go about things that just alianates most of the population instantly.

    If "a" Government went about a complete, long term, route and branch investigation of the nhs, taking as long as necessary and divorced completly from party politics. Also involving the great and the good from industry and commerce.......Then we might start to get somewhere.

    Private companies exist to make a profit for shareholders. Simple fact. This is not compatable with running a health service for the people. It would quickly end up like the utilities.

    However, free access at the point of contact for all must remain for me.

    If it was approached in such a way and explained to the country in such a way. It might just work.

    It might also be worth considering input from outside the UK, how would the Japanese look at? The Scandanavians?

    For me it should remain as the country's number one priority in terms finances.

    Peoples health and the protection of those with health problems is the most important thing. If that means pumping more money in I say yes. If that means more tax to pay for this I say yes to that as well.
    Last edited by waco; 7th May 2012 at 14:48.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    Peoples health and the protection of those with health problems is the most important thing. If that means pumping more money in I say yes. If that means more tax to pay for this I say yes to that as well.
    But the Blair / Brown double act pumped more and more money in with no appreciable benefit.

    So do we try more again, or a different route?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  10. #70
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    I don't understand this obsession with 'profit' in the health service.

    Plenty of people are making a profit from it at the moment - the drug companies, the construction companies who build the hospitals, the manufacturers of the equipment used in the hospitals and so on.

    And the doctors have created a nice little earner for themselves as well.

    Against such a background, so long as treatment remains free at the point of delivery, why shouldn't private companies run hospitals?

    So long as the NHS remains free, surely what really matters is that patients get the best treatement possible, not the operating structure of the organisation that treats them?

  11. #71
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    Forget profit; the NHS is a loss-making black-hole.....and that’s a fact.

    We need the NHS but we also have to be able to pay for it.....so some more facts.

    The UK PLC now £1,300,000,000,000 in debt and that debt is going up (despite the cuts) by over £115,000,000,000 per year (more than the total cost of the NHS per year) and that debt has to be paid back...

    ...and who will pay it back? You and me!

    Before anybody says that more money needs to be spent on the NHS have a think about where the money is to come from!
    WA$.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    We must make a quick attempt to return to growth...
    How exactly? You’re not wrong about growth but you need a plan.....a plan that works!

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    ...or UK PLC will fold like several other European nations which are presently teatering on the brink.
    Which countries exactly? Greece? Ireland? Spain?

    One problem these countries have is that the banks that lend them money think that they have borrowed too much; the end result is that next time they come to borrow (and they need to borrow) the interest is higher so they need to borrow more to cover the interest...

    ...and if they borrow more the banks think they are borrowing too much again and so their interest goes up again.

    Eventually they cannot borrow any more and have to default.....or get a bail-out from the EU!

    And what do the EU demand in return for this bail-out.....spending-cuts (austerity).....not so easy, is it?
    WA$.

  13. #73
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    Sorry, I’ve been away and am only just working my way through all these posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    Peoples health and the protection of those with health problems is the most important thing. If that means pumping more money in I say yes. If that means more tax to pay for this I say yes to that as well.
    You’d pay for a properly funded NHS by increasing taxation? Fine; that’s certainly one way of doing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    In my humble opinion the British public vote on two matters really:

    AA/ Do I have money in my pocket?
    BB/ The NHS.
    Well, there is your problem in-a-nutshell! The British voter wants a properly-funded NHS...

    ...but, unfortunately, the same British voters are unwilling to pay tax at a level that will pay for it!

    The result is that successive governments have tried to win votes by giving the voters what they want by borrowing the money to pay for the NHS (and everything else); the end result is that the country is now seriously in debt and cannot really afford to borrow any more money (post financial crisis).
    WA$.

  14. #74
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    I can see us going down the route of the USA whereby if you havn't got Insurance tough!! If you have an accident in C.A. the first thing they ask you upon arrival at Hospital, is have you got Insurance, if not, you go to the lowest hospital on the list, if they have got the time to treat you.
    I have a friend in CA who is a top Surgeon, and even a pedal cyclist who gets knocked off their bicycle gets everything, ie X rays, CT scans if needed and the best skills a surgeon can offer. I asked my friend why for such a minor injury, so much money would have been spent covering all the bases. he stated that if they, the medics who treated said cyclist missed something, the injured person would sue the surgeon or Hospital.Even my friend has to Insure himself against anyone who tries to sue him for Clinical Neglect.
    So, I guess this is the way we will end up going, paying for treatment through Insurance, or going without.
    Jim.
    Lincoln .7
    There is no such thing as a problem, just a solution!!

  15. #75
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    CD

    Please see my earlier threads where I detailed my thoughts about QE, bank lending and current company balance sheets, with regard to the economy.
    And using such matters to put growth into the economy.

    I feel a good percentage of the electorate had their say last week......

    On borrowing, the current Government is borrowing more than the last presently. The only way you are going to stop that is by getting more people back to work and paying tax.

    If you cut, cut and cut again with no stimulus the economy will (as is presently happening ) die slowly.

    When I was made redundant I had few choices. I ended up moving south to get work. My mortgage in the north was nearly paid off. I invested in my self, borrowed money (ie on a mortgage) and made the move ie I invested in myself.

    This is what the current Government needs to encourage. Investing in people to get them back to work......not cut, cut cut.

    There was a great analagy on radio 4 this morning. To paparphrase.... If the patient is the economy and you just keep making cuts the patient will die simply owing slightly less........

    Moggy

    If you take the Blair years into account ie the whole Labour period of administration, they reduced waiting times considerably. Built lots of new hospitals (ok, ok PFI is another argument). Employed many more docors and nurses and increased their pay dramatically.

    I previously lived in impovorished East Lancashire. Our original hospital was a decrepit Victorian structure in a shocking state and our gp's surgery was nothing more than a leaking port-a-cabin. Under Labour we got a new hospital and a new surgery. During the Tory boom time in the 1980's did they spend money on new infastructure? Absolutely not.

    If you want me to quote the proof and figures I will do when I get time.

    From earlier posts of yours you seem to have some considerable hands on experiance of the NHS, consiquently I am sure you are aware of the NHS improvements in the Labour years as a whole.

    Could the money pumped in to the NHS during the labour years been used more efficently. According to doctors and nurses I know, the answer is yes.

    You both present sensible and understandable arguments however we are as a country in dire straits. As we are all aware, it is not just our country but most of the western european nations and a few others as well. Japan has been struggling for years.

    It is going to be very interesting to see what happens in France and I wait with interest.

    However the present PM and cabinet seems to be aloof and detached from working people. A lot of the current cabinet are millionaires. They seem to be interested only in widening the gap between the rich and poor and squeezing most of the people in the middle. Getting those least able to pay for defficit.

    For me the NHS remains sacrasanct. Other people have differnt views which I appreciate. My views are based on the fact that the NHS keep me going. They allow me to stay working and pay tax.

    If I had to pay for health care then I simply could not afford it and would have spent a life on benifits. I think there are probably millions of people in the same position as me.

    I also believe that the British people will vote ultimately against any party that ends free health care at the point of delivery.

    As to the argument about putting healthcare in private hands. Simply, private companies are run for one reason and one reason alone.....the profit of the shareholders.....If you want an example, have a look at your gas, water and electric bills and have a look at executive pay in those areas.

    Lincoln 7 raises some interesting points. I have both worked and studied in the US and have seen entire families completly destroyed as the result of a serious illness for which they could not obtain insurance or was excluded.

    That is not the type of world I want to live in.

    Ok, lets have a complete new look at everything but has to be done outside party lines. If such investigations take years, so be it. Lets look at how the rest of Europe pay for health and benifits (ok but not Greece eh?). Get industry, commerce, the likes of Branson and Sugar involved. Elder statesmen such as Paddy Ashdown, Lord Owen, John Major and Tony Blair (like him or not he was very successful and Cameron has in part tried to copy him....even the entire Tory back benchers gave him a standing ovation on leaving office) . And no, not GB for he was no more PM material than I .

    Can I make a suggestion........let me buy you all a beer before the summer is out. Its easier to explain over a pint is'nt it !

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    Please see my earlier threads where I detailed my thoughts about QE...
    As I’ve said, I’m not an economist so I’m not sure I really understand Quantitative Easing (QE) but it seems to me to be somewhat dishonest; the Bank-of-England is spending money it hasn’t got. The Bank-of-England is creating money, electronically (because it can), and buying bonds (debt) with it; later when the economy has picked-up (helped by the QE measures) the Bank-of-England will sell these bonds (debt) and then destroy the money it gets for them?

    If anybody can come-up with a better explanation I’d be glad to hear it. But, as in all things financial, there has to be some consequences from this slight-of-hand. One major consequence is inflation and that helps nobody, particularly the less well-off (or pensioners); exactly those that are most in need of a properly-funded NHS.

    Anyway my feelings are that QE, or any other Bank-of-England monetary policy, can only massage the economy so much; you can’t run a country that way. You just don’t get something for nothing!

    I agree with what you say about getting UK banks to lend money to UK business; and doing so at a rate that UK business can afford and also not foreclosing at the first sign of trouble. Not sure how the UK achieves that but Germany and Japan seem to.

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    On borrowing, the current Government is borrowing more than the last presently. The only way you are going to stop that is by getting more people back to work and paying tax.
    Yes, but those people cannot be public sector employees (or private sector employees that are employed due to government projects) because no matter how high their tax the government always gets back less than it spent (or in the UK, less than it borrowed).

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    When I was made redundant I had few choices. I ended up moving south to get work. My mortgage in the north was nearly paid off. I invested in my self, borrowed money (ie on a mortgage) and made the move ie I invested in myself.
    You are to be commended for uprooting yourself (and your family) and taking on debt in search of work but presumably your move allowed you to earn enough to cover your new debt. I would say that was analogous to the UK investing in companies that exported goods or services that brought more revenue into the country.

    However, would you have moved and taken on a big mortgage in an area where you couldn’t find work? I would say that was analogous to the UK investing in the public sector (the NHS for example); life would have been better for your family, in the short term, but would it be sustainable?

    The recession is bad but look at how much the UK economy has shrunk, a few percent, so I do not think there is any chance of the UK economy ‘dying’ because economies are self-regulating, to a certain extent, but I do think there is a very great danger of the UK borrowing too much. Look at the economies that are in trouble in the EU today; most of these countries have a big problem with debt.

    I too will be very interested to see what happens in France - place your bets please!
    WA$.

  17. #77
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    A couple of video articles here from the BBC on Quantitative Easing (QE);

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16963116

    It doesn’t sound like it is all good news, particularly the impact it is having on some pensioners incomes (down 25%). As I said, you don’t get something for nothing!

    Despite the BBC explanation I still don’t understand how the Bank-of-England can just ‘make’ money to buy UK government bonds. The Bank-of-England has now ‘made’ £325billon of this ‘money’. How long will this ‘money’ stay in circulation and what about interest on it? Is there any? How will it be paid back; by selling the (lower value) bonds again?

    Whatever the impact of quantitative easing the benefit from it doesn’t seem to be that great.....considering that the UK PLC has just ‘spent’ £325billon of it...

    ...enough for about £5,250 for every man, woman and child in the country!
    WA$.

  18. #78
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    CD

    The point I was trying to make about QE was that I think it has been mis-used. In my humble opinion it has simply been used by the banks to shore up their balance sheet through the purchase of bonds.

    I appreciate that this is the basis of QE however.

    Since the Government effectively is the main or a substantial shareholder in a number of banks it should be MAKING these banks lend and at sensible rates. Because that is where your growth and expansion is going to come from.

    It is also worth remembering that when the banks crashed in 1931 it was effectively over the banking system protecting the gold standard.

    Will the banking system crash again trying to protect the price of Government bonds ? Taking with it the remains of the western economies ?

    The government should also be offering tax advantages to COMPANIES to allow them to invest some of the large amount funds they are presently sitting on and employ more people. That is where the growth will come from.

    The current government is doing neither. Which is amazing for a Tory Government, for which this is standard fare. I wonder what Norman L thinks about it .

    I'm looking for a new car since my Panda blew up. kia have just given me a quote on a 3 year HP purchase @ 17% APR. 17 % when the BoE Base is 0.5 % !!!!!! can you believe that. And that is with a substantial deposit.

    I listend to Clegg and Cameron this afternoon. More meaningless rhetoric. 2 years in and its :
    Double dip recession.
    2.7 million unemployed and rising
    Increased borrowings
    Everywhere north of Watford going to hell in a hand cart.

    As Dick Dastardly said to to Mutley.......Do something !!
    Last edited by waco; 8th May 2012 at 19:32.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    CD

    I'm looking for a new car since my Panda blew up. kia have just given me a quote on a 3 year HP purchase @ 17% APR. 17 % when the BoE Base is 0.5 % !!!!!! can you believe that. And that is with a substantial deposit.

    [/I]
    Sorry to go off topic somewhat, but that sounds like sub-prime rates to me, shop around don't accept that, tell the salesman to stick his car were the sun don't shine, surprisingly, it very often improves the deal.

    What are they using as a flat rate? Probably about 8.5% as a guess, that is a disgrace.

  20. #80
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    Good advice S Fox......and that is what I said.

    If this is representative of how thw banks are treating business............!!

  21. #81
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    A quick Google plenty of car finance companies showing rates on new cars at 6.9% APR and 7.9% APR on used cars, some even without deposit.

    Note; if you arrange your own finance then you are a free agent when dealing with car salespeople, ps them off somewhat.
    Last edited by Moggy C; 9th May 2012 at 10:06. Reason: Pointless quote removed

  22. #82
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    NHS I would get rid of all of these managers, ward managers would be replaced by matrons, someone who can work both sides...

    I remember a TV programme years ago where some guy bought/took over a failing company.... Walking into the huge HQ with thousands of staff he asked Z what do you do.... I process these forms and send to A.. A what do you do... I record them and send copies to Z and G... So basically you generate paperwork and you all shuffle it round this big building with managers and senior staff simply there to manage the production and shuffling of paper, which had squat to do with the core production..... He got rid of the lot and turned the Company around.

  23. #83
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    Very true, it is so easy for organisations to fall into a circular system were people are producing statistics which someone else studies, makes recommendations, yet another body authorises action, sends it back to the "shop floor" only to find that those doing the work had requested this very action about a decade previously.
    Last edited by Moggy C; 9th May 2012 at 10:05. Reason: pointless quote removed

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    The government should also be offering tax advantages to COMPANIES to allow them to invest some of the large amount funds they are presently sitting on and employ more people. That is where the growth will come from.
    You mean cutting corporation tax.....like this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17461244

    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    The current government is doing neither. Which is amazing for a Tory Government, for which this is standard fare.
    "A base rate of corporation tax that is dramatically lower than our competitors; 18% lower than USA, 16% lower than Japan, 12% lower than France and 8% lower than Germany."
    I’m not sure if Osborne is talking about the 2014 rate, and our competitors can always lower their base rates, but this does seem to prove that the current government is doing something because they have already cut the rate from 28% to 24%.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the corporation tax rate in France under their new president who has promised to raise taxes for ‘big corporations’.
    WA$.

  25. #85
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    @Creaking Door
    QE is printing money, but it's not printing value. A better description would be that they came up to you, trimmed x% off everything you have, then used that to make more money. Basically, it's theft.

    If there was £100 of money in Britain, and it was spread over 100 notes, then each note would be worth £1. If you printed another 100 notes, you've not made any value as the worth of each note just dropped to £0.50.

    I'm sure some will dislike Godfrey Bloom as he is from UKIP, but here's an interesting related video....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXnsqB8-o4g

    @waco
    Why a new car? Why not a second hand car? I've never owned a new vehicle, nor would I ever own one unless the money was literally burning a hole in my pocket. You could get a Focus for a couple grand on ebay. Avoid debt at all costs!
    Last edited by ppp; 8th May 2012 at 23:09.

  26. #86
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    Silver Fox.....good tip thanks.
    PPP yep you are correct about personal debt. Spot on! Alas I live in an area without public transport and go to work at crazy times as well as most bank holidays etc. I really need totally reliable transport. Kia were offering a 7 year, 100,000 mile warranty. Alas at 17% APR.....I have to pass.

    CD
    Yes the Corporation tax was a good move but will not achieve that much in isolation. Companies need access to investment funds at sensible rates and now!
    Last edited by waco; 9th May 2012 at 08:50.

  27. #87
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    Waco and CD, You both go on about pumping money into the NHS as if it is the placebo to the problem.It's not, in my opinion.
    Let me tell you a couple of stories, recently happened, I know all the details for sure, because one involves me, and the other my daughter.
    My daughter was up at 06.30 today to go into Hospital for an Op on one of her big toes, knowing she wouldnt be able to drive after the Op, my wife also got up early. Both arrived at said Hospital, and was told, that my daughter had recieved a letter in APRIL cancelling the Op,and a new admission date given. My daughter went on to say, had she indeed recieved a letter she would not have turned up today at the appointed time. She asked to see a copy of the letter, knowing by Law they had to keep one, The Secretary tried to get it up on her screen, and looked through my daughters medical records, but came up with ziltch, other than, "Well, it must have been mistakenly deleted" Yeh, right, and if you believe that......The other is me, had cardio vascular surgery, two methods to do it, one way was a day job, easier for the surgeon, and didnt take up a Hospital bed, the other way, of which I wasn't told would have been better for me but would mean I would have taken up a hospital bed for 7 to 9 days, and was a longer op for the surgeon, my femoral nerve in my right thigh and knee was damaged, and no apology from this major hospital or an offer to try and put damage right, has yet to be recieved.It was an obvious cost cutting excersize."Get it done, and get him out" ASAP.

    As regards my daughter, pen pushers who failed to do their job corectly, a phone call cancelling the appointment, would have been cheaper that a letter which these days has every chance of not being delivered.Even post being sent Recorded Delivery is no guarantee it will be delivered.

    As regards me, I have to put up with pain 24 hrs 7 days a week with no recourse. No one want's to know.

    There are far too many people who cannot do their job properly and this is where they creat another job for somewon to oversee those that are incompetant.and then another to see if THEY are doing their job correctly.
    There are more weeds in the NHS that need pulling out, than weeds in my garden.No lads, I am afraid its not money thats the answer, it's a spot of weeding.And these are just 2 things I could go on about, nudge nudge, wink wink,
    Jim.
    Lincoln. 7
    There is no such thing as a problem, just a solution!!

  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincoln 7 View Post
    You.....go on about pumping money into the NHS as if it is the placebo to the problem.
    Where did I say that?

    My only suggestion has been that if the public in the UK wants a properly-funded NHS then they must be prepared to pay for it. And I mean without borrowing the money to pay for it (and everything else that the public in the UK demand).

    I do not mind spending money on the NHS but I am against wasting public money in the NHS, just as I am against wasting public money in any other public service! Money spent on administration will not make anybody well but large sums spent on administration, in a service as vast as the NHS, are unavoidable; I would just hope to make it as efficient as possible and put the money ‘saved’ into treatments.

    I wonder how much NHS time and money is wasted by patients not turning-up for appointments?
    WA$.

  29. #89
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    Its a fair point Lincoln........

    My Dad went in one hospital.......disaster.......Went in another due to an admin problem. they discovered bowl cancer, operated, got it all (thank god!) and at 85 he is still going strong.

    Two NHS hospitals.....one garbage one magnificent. I agree.

    Happy to see a complete root and branch investigation of the NHS. Providing:

    AA/ Healthcare remains free at the point of delivery, no compromise.
    BB/ Investigation is taken out of party politics and is carried out by people I elluded to in an earlier post.
    CC/ No time constraint....its completed when ready. Put Alan Sugar or Richard Branson in charge or both !

    PS ....... just bought a Skoda!!!!!!

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    Put Alan Sugar in charge!
    Over my dead body!
    WA$.

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