Professor Nick Bosanquet – a director of the centre-right think tank Reform ruffled a number of feathers at the end of last year when he stated that the NHS would do well to invest in virtual infrastructure. The core of his argument is that patients should send their data to the hospital for diagnosis rather than turning up themselves to be measured. We couldn’t agree more.
It’s surprising that it had the effect that it did. For several years everyone within the health service has known that it is heading for bankruptcy, as is every other health service in the world. We’re getting older – by 2010 over 40% of Europeans will be aged over 50, which means that the number of people in work paying taxes to support the growing bulk of the population (in all of its senses) is becoming an intractable problem.
The solution is generally agreed to be more remote monitoring of patients to try and keep them out of hospital. However much we bang that drum, the message is largely ignored. What has engaged the attention of the media is the modest proposal that this means we may need to build fewer hospitals or that we’re building the wrong sort.