The Telegraph reports today that the NHS has become less efficient despite ever increasing funds being pumped into it.
Official figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics show that the amount of treatment the NHS delivers is lagging behind the pace of increase in the service's budget.
NHS productivity fell by 2.0 per cent a year between 2001 and 2005, according to the Centre for the Measurement of Government Activity, the ONS unit that monitors public spending. That was the period of the biggest funding increase in NHS history.
Despite all this extra money the NHS continues to lag behind just about every decent western nation in health care standards and NHS hospitals remain places where you are just as likely to catch a life threatening illness as you are to be cured.
The NHS costs each and every person in Britain around £1500 a year. That means your average family of four is paying some £6000 a year for the NHS. At least, they would be if we all paid the same, but the reality is, of course, that many people pay nothing at all or very little while many others pay far more. The irony being that those who pay the most are the least likely to use the service.
No one denies that health care in Britain before the NHS was very hit and miss, but it was also one of the best in the world. Now it's one of the worst - and the more money it gets, the worse it gets. And yet, every major political party is pledged to supporting the NHS. They all claim they can "reform" it and make it more efficient - they've all been saying that for 30 years, but every year it gets a little more bloated, a little more inefficient and a lot worse.
Isn't it time we ended this love affair for what is, by virtually every measure, a failing organisation?