I am sure that my last couple of tweets about the NHS are going to get me some stick.
But I think it's important to divorce the business of healthcare from the organisational woes of the NHS. People who defend the NHS's virtues are the same people who complain about postcode lotteries or government interference in the niceties of healthcare.Or, indeed, low front-line staffing or excessive bureaucracy.
These really are two sides of the same social healthcare coin. As soon as the state is involved in the provision healthcare, it becomes subject to the decisions made by bureaucrats who are chasing statistics or "The Thick of It" soundbites, rather than caring for patients. If you want the "safety net" idea of a means of providing healthcare for all, free at the point of delivery, which has to be funded out of general taxation, then you have to accept the downsides of this approach, which is that the safety net is under the control of people who have no idea of the issues and consequences of their decisions and initiatives.
I don't think that opening the NHS up into thousands of competing hospitals and small practices, paid for by individual consumers, will have any bad effect that will not be outweighed by lower costs, better service and fewer needless fatalities.