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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The Scottish and the Welsh NHS are the closest thing to a counterfactual, because they are still more or less run like the old (and, if the Corbynistas get their way, the future) English NHS. Even though they are, in per capita terms, better funded and generally better staffed than their English counterpart, their performance lags on most measures. Rates of mortality amenable to healthcare are higher than in England, waiting times are longer, and hospital infections are more prevalent.

Kristian Niemietz

15 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Why does Kristian Niemietz hate the envy of the world?

  • Kristian probably got ill in the UK, Ted

  • Lee Moore

    I’m sure the fellow is right, but….

    …health is mostly correlated with wealth, rather than the quality of medical services available. Of course the quality of medical care is not irrelevant, it’s just that we risk falling into the socialist trap if we accept that Britons’ health has more to do with government health services – how much funding, how “efficient” etc – than it has to do with allowing incomes to grow at a rapid clip without interference.

    As for his numbers, he obviously needs to compare Welsh and Scottish outcomes, not with total English outcomes, but with outcomes for English people of similar wealth to the Welsh and Scots.

  • I guess I should have included a /sarcasm tag with my first comment….

  • concretebunker

    Living in Wales I can ensure any doubter that the NHS as well as the education system is appalling – third world would be appropriate. Having had a wealthy friend visiting for a day operation but having to use a toilet facility with twelve others that was not cleaned ensured that all on the day ward spent at least a week in hospital. In addition if you have a loved one in a ward it is necessary to bring in food as what is served up is not even fit as pig swill!

  • Paul Marks

    But Donald Trump says the government heath system works very well in Scotland.

    Are you saying “The Donald” is wrong?

  • RRS

    The solutions to these problems turn on the answers to 2 questions:

    Who cares?

    So what?

  • As for his numbers, he obviously needs to compare Welsh and Scottish outcomes, not with total English outcomes, but with outcomes for English people of similar wealth to the Welsh and Scots.

    Lee, why Wales of all places?

  • Nicholas (Rule Yourselves!) Gray

    Of course Wales would have the best medical service in the world! Ever since one specialist moved there, the cardyff region has had the most advanced, one might even say futuristic care and facilities anywhere.
    Which ‘Doctor? Who’ do you think?

  • Lee Moore

    Alisa : Lee, why Wales of all places?

    I’m sure you are not the first to have wondered about this.

  • Sorry, but that was a question from a non-Brit – so I still have no idea 🙂

  • Watchman


    The Welsh Senydd (sorry – I just think it sounds better than Assembly) has devolved powers over the Welsh NHS, and as the Senydd is controlled by Labour, the party opposed to changing the current system (because they cannot see the irony in fighting to maintain things as they are against the Conservative government of the UK…), so they have not adopted the relatively minor changes that allow more of a market in the NHS by allowing in non-monopolistic private providers.

    But Lee is probably right that some outcomes are affected by poverty and history as well – Wales had a big industry and coal-mining region, where much of the population are centred, and although much of the countryside is nice, it is rarely affluent. I suspect a better comparison would be a similiar area such as the North-East of England. That said, I would expect to see a clear difference in outcome still as the Welsh NHS is notorious for not caring about consumers.

  • Rob Fisher

    The linked article is very informative. It explains concisely what the reforms were.

  • Thanks Watchman, that is much clearer now.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Authenticity does not improve bad product. But inauthenticity is a knock on purportedly good product.

    Suppose a politician or party advocates policies I agree with. Should I support them? If they gain power, will they actually execute those policies? Are they authentic?

    There is another aspect: if a politician is insincere about his policies, it is more likely that he will engage in common dishonesty: grafting, influence-peddling, cronyism, bribe-taking, and the like. “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.”