The flaws of Britain's failed state health system have been highlighted again and again in recent years, and now the National Health Service has responded - by hiring an additional 5,000 administrators. The NHS Information Centre released statistics this week that show that, whilst the numbers of nurses have risen by just 1.9 percent, there has been a 12 percent increase in the number of 'pen-pushers'. There are now 44,660 bureaucrats employed by the health service.

Total staff numbers in the NHS reached 1,432,000 in 2009, which is 30 percent more than a decade before. This means that, with a population of 60 million people, an incredible one in every 42 people living in Britain is employed by the NHS. Patients can be forgiven for wondering where their tax contributions are going.

Despite the long waits, restricted access to care and a culture of confusion and waste, the NHS was actually offered as a good example of universal healthcare by lobbyists in the recent battle in Congress to reform the US health system. These latest figures suggest that a system that removes choice and accountability may result in equal reductions in both quality of care and cost efficiency.

"Yet again, funds that are urgently needed for the front-line are being swallowed up by Labour's bureaucratic black hole," said Conservative health spokesman Andrew Landsley. "Box-ticking and bureaucracy still seem to be more important... than caring for patients."

The NHS is still feeling the pinch from it's disastrous Private Finance Initiatives, which left the organisation paying out 63 billion pounds for the building of hospitals that cost just 11 billion pounds to build. Healthcare costs have continued to spiral in the UK, more than doubling in the last decade. Last year spending topped 8.1% of GDP. The current 'band-aid' approach has only succeeded in lining the pockets of drug company shareholders and increasing the burden of sickness nationwide. These latest revelations are symptomatic of an organisation with no accountability, no organisation, and an executive policy that is determined more by the pursuit of corporate profit and political point-scoring.

Citizens of America who have been promised a holy grail of 'universal healthcare' may be concerned to see the slow and stuttering demise of the NHS. The organisation serves as a timely reminder of the consequences when consumer choice is removed, and a centralised system becomes more about private wealth than public health.


UK Health Care Spending 1692 - 2011

NHS Pen-Pushers Outnumber Front-Line Nurses Six to One

Rise in NHS managers outstrips doctors and nurses

NHS: for public health or private wealth?