UK health tourism debate misses the point, which is: the NHS is rubbish
The Left is loving the "health tourism" debate because they think it means the NHS is great. But the NHS isn't the envy of the world; it's just the envy of the Third World
There's a big debate in Britain right now about foreigners using the state National Health Service (NHS) without paying for it. They probably are. But what do you expect when a nationalised industry offers service at the point of demand for free? If you could take advantage of such a system, wouldn't you try? I don't blame them.
But, as usual in the totally non-serious "debate" about the failed British health system, this misses the point. The Left is actually loving the story because it allows them to say that the NHS is so great people are flocking here to use it. To coin a British phrase: bollocks.
The NHS is a disaster; a historic wrong turn taken by Britain after WWII by a Labour Party that has never owned up to its mistake.
No European country has a system like the NHS which is more akin to the Soviet model than their own insurance based systems, which are socialised in a sense but which allow a far greater role for the private sector.
The killer response to the NHS-is-the-envy-of-the-world line is this: So why has nobody emulated it? When the former communist countries of Eastern Europe broke free from communism they all had to design a new health system. They loved Britain. But they were damned if they were going to copy our NHS model. They all chose the compulsory insurance model, and many are now overtaking Britain in cancer and heart attack survival rates as a consequence.
The truth is that the NHS is the envy only of the Third World. If you're from Somalia and you make it to Britain, what's on offer here must look marvellous. And, to repeat, who could blame anyone for trying to get something for free when it's offered on a plate?
This health tourism issue is a diversion from the real issue. The NHS is rubbish, and every foreigner outside sub-Saharan Africa knows it.
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