The NHS is so good, it’s killing us
Most sensible people look to the NHS as a national treasure that we love or hate depending on whether we’re making comparisons to countries without a national health system or waiting in line at our local GPs. The reality is that UK citizens are some of the luckiest in the world. Whatever pain you’re feeling physically; whatever you’ve been diagnosed with; whatever the accident, you’ll be treated - for free - by some of the best medical health professionals in the world.
The very stark and sad irony: That very same NHS-shaped safety blanket is the very thing responsible for killing people. In its attempt to 'do good', it's created a culture of "if something goes wrong I'll go to the doctors but otherwise I'm fine".
Pop quiz: Whose grandmother told them ‘prevention is better than cure’?
Question two: When was the last time you got a checkup? Even though you were feeling fine, you got a regular checkup to make sure everything was OK?
Your (likely) answer: Not for years. If you’re like the vast majority of people we’ve surveyed by Thriva.co (here), you last went to the doctor when you were ill or got hurt.
Despite (or perhaps because of) it’s marked lack of public health care, In the US it’s common practice for people to go for a checkup once a year or every couple of years. Lacking in a free, all-bases-covered health care service laid on by the government, citizens are
Add to this curious picture the fact that the NHS is buckling under the strain and the conclusion appears all too obvious. In trying to do so much good, the NHS has created a culture where we ‘cure rather than prevent’. With medical centres full to the brim with people being ‘cured’, most people are justifiably reticent to stand in line for a routine check.
So what’s the answer?
It's all too easy to trot out ‘Technology’ as the ever tempting silver bullet...but in this specific instance, I believe technology and health tech business truly hold the key. In fact, I believe it’s critical that tech companies of today begin breaking down some demonstrably broken cultural norms around health and wellbeing to free up the strain on NHS resources.
Am I advocating a private health care system? Categorically NOT.
What I AM suggesting is this: We need to accept that there is a good chunk of this country willing and able to pay for things that are important, convenient and useful. Fact. And it’s going to be down to the health-technology companies of tomorrow to create products and services today that customers are willing to pay for in a bid to stay ahead of their bodies and on top of their health. The existing private health products have done little to change the way people think about proactive health management.
Cancer. Diabetes. High cholesterol. Anemia. Heart problems. Not one of these diseases or conditions benefits sufferers from being picked up late. Grandmothers often seem to know best.
Am I advocating a private health care system? Categorically not.
What I’m suggesting is this: Some people are willing to pay for things that are important, convenient and useful. And it’s going to be down to the health-technology companies
asdfof tomorrow to create products and services customers are willing to pay for in a bid to stay ahead of their bodies and on top of their health.