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UK:Local health care 'close to break point' [Social Policy]

EU各国が財政健全化策を求められて,EURO圏でなお危機的状況に置かれたギリシャ,スペインなどの政治的混迷が深まり,フランスでも政権交代が生じたほどですが,EURO圏ではないが,EU加盟国のイギリスでも厳しい財政緊縮策が取られており,医療保険制度ではなく国営医療制度によっているNational Health Service が,地域レベルでは崩壊に瀕している状況が,BBCによって報じられています.

といった関連記事からも窺えるように,人員の50,000人削減,病院閉鎖の可能性が取りざたされており,地域レベルの
Health services in the community are reaching breaking point in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing is claiming.
The union said evidence from its members showed cuts to councils and hospitals were over-burdening nurses in the community.
と「病院から地域ケアへ」が叫ばれる中で,地域の訪問看護サービスが重圧にさらされていると論じられています.

労働組合,労働党と現在の保守党+自由党連立政権の間の対立を反映していますから,的確な判断をするのは難しいのですが,BBCが取り上げる問題の深刻さは,近い将来に,先延ばし先延ばしを続けている日本がおそらく厳しい財政削減を迫られるに違いないことを考えると,決して他人事では済まされない問題だと思われます.

「消費税と社会保障の一体改革」というと,何か両方が改善されるようなイメージの振りまきに聞こえますが,GDP比200%という最悪の財政状態からすれば,社会保障改革は口実に過ぎず,その削減こそあれ,改善の方向はないと考えるべきでしょう.

最近の日本経済誌の記事を引用しておきますと,
「日本国債は、約1500兆円に上る個人金融資産や企業の潤沢な資金が銀行に預けられ、その資金で買い支えられてきた。国内投資家による保有比率は約9割を占める。国内資金が乏しく海外の資金に頼らざるを得ないギリシャとは違い、価格は安定し金利も1%前後の低位で推移している。 ただ、その条件はほころび始めている。豊富な国内資金の原資は、輸出や海外への投資で稼いだ経常収支の黒字だ。だが、昨年は輸出の不振と発電用燃料の輸入急増で31年ぶりに貿易収支が赤字に転落。今年1月には経常収支でも3年ぶりに赤字に転落した。高齢化の影響で、個人金融資産の取り崩しも進んでおり、国債を買い支える資金は先細りが必至だ。
そもそも、日本の財政は国の債務残高が国内総生産(GDP)の約2.3倍に達し、ギリシャの約1.6倍を上回る。市場では「消費税増税法案の国会提出が頓挫するような事態になれば、信認失墜で国債急落の“時限爆弾”が破裂する恐れがある」(債券アナリスト)との声も出ている。」

あとは,ご自由に原文をご渉猟下さい.

 

 

Doctors and nurses The NHS is under pressure, the Royal College of Nursing says

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Health services in the community are reaching breaking point in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing is claiming.

The union said evidence from its members showed cuts to councils and hospitals were over-burdening nurses in the community.

The research was released as nurses gather in Harrogate for their annual conference which will be addressed by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

Ministers have said reforms to the NHS will improve services for patients.

RCN General Secretary Peter Carter said nurses were bound to "demonstrate their serious concerns" about the NHS in a Q&A session with Mr Lansley.

Start Quote

Yet again and despite numerous warnings NHS organisations are making short-sighted cuts across the UK. Nurses are being stretched too thin and many are approaching breaking points.”

End Quote Peter Carter RCN General Secretary

At last year's conference RCN members gave him a vote of no confidence.

The latest research was based on online feedback from nearly 2,700 nurses in the community including district nurses, those who work in GP practices and those who specialise in mental health.

Nine in 10 reported their caseloads had increased in the last year with some saying they were even having to fill in for council social care teams by making meals for patients and doing their shopping.

Ministers have talked about moving care away from hospitals and into the community so patients can get more appropriate services.

'Facade'

But the RCN said this was proving to be a "facade" as community services were "under-invested and over-burdened".

Many nurses claimed they were actually spending less time with individual patients because of the pressures being placed on them.

The union also released the latest data from its Frontline First campaign, which has been keeping track of job losses in the health service.

The figures, disputed by ministers, suggested more than 26,000 posts have gone in the last two years and predict another 34,000 are at risk over the next three years.

Mr Carter said: "Yet again and despite numerous warnings NHS organisations are making short-sighted cuts across the UK. Nurses are being stretched too thin and many are approaching breaking points."

'Worrying'

Over the weekend the RCN also released a report claiming hospital patients were being treated in corridors and being left waiting for hours on trolleys because trusts were struggling to cope with demands.

Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the RCN findings were "worrying" and showed the NHS was "coming under attack from every possible angle".

Health Minister Simon Burns said he did not recognise the figures on job losses.

He added: "We are giving nurses in hospitals and in the community more time to care. We want to remove excessive paperwork and bureaucracy. This government believes in the NHS."


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