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Race and culture and health – the great NHS taboo?

We all know that the NHS is under pressure. Obviously there are many causes. One is the culture of bureaucracy, incompetence and waste of NHS management. For example, in 1997 the NHS had about 200,000 beds and around 25,000 managers (around 8 beds per manager). Now there are only about 144,000 beds and over 40,000 managers (around 3.6 beds per manager). This equates to a 55% drop in managerial efficiency in 17 years – an incredible 3.2% fall in managerial efficiency every year. Funny none of our politicians mention this.

Moreover, even though I wrote two chapters in my 2006 book PLUNDERING THE PUBLIC SECTOR about why the NHS computer system would fail and even had a meeting with Sir John “Junket” Bourne former head of the National Audit Office warning him of the impending disaster, the NHS ploughed vainly ahead wasting maybe £6bn of our money before the worthless, hopelessly-managed exercise in futility was finally abandoned.

Then there’s immigration. The arrival of around 7 million people in just 17 years has hugely increased demand for NHS services. Moreover, many of these people come from countries with poor healthcare and so are perhaps more eager than native Brits to take full advantage of free NHS services. Added to this there are language and cultural problems which make dealing with many of these new arrivals much more time- and resource-consuming than dealing with native British citizens. This is something our leaders also choose not to mention.

But the real taboo concerns the relationship between race and culture and various diseases. It’s known, for example, that a quarter of a million people in England have the sickle cell trait; most of whom have African-Caribbean ancestry. Having the sickle cell trait itself will not cause a person to develop sickle cell anaemia. But if two people with the trait conceive a child, then there is an astonishingly high one in four chance that child will be born with sickle cell anaemia.

It’s also known that because of their genes, people from India and Pakistan, will have much worse reactions to some treatments like chemotherapy than patients from other races and so will require longer hospitalisation and more expensive care.

And we know that the over two million South Asian people (India, Bangladesh and Pakistan) and their descendants who have settled in the UK are 4 times more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes than the indigenous populations, in addition to much higher levels of ischaemic and cardiovascular heart disease and premature atherosclerosis.

And we know that marriage between first cousins triples the chance of having a baby with potentially life-threatening birth defects. One study of nearly 11,000 births in a large British Pakistani community between 2007 and 2011 (reported in the politically-correct Guardian and the Independent), indicated that more than 2,000 babies were born to first cousin parents and 6% of these (120) had a congenital abnormality. Amongst the wider Pakistani community, the incidence was 3% (due to marriage between close relatives) compared to about 2% amongst the indigenous population.

On the other hand, people from Muslim communities are unlikely to have alcohol-related problems and unlikely to clog up our A&E units with drunks every Friday and Saturday night, unlike the indigenous population in many British towns.

As for obesity (the underlying cause of many health problems), Afro-Caribbean men are much less likely to be obese than the general population, while Indian and Pakistani men are more likely to be obese. Amongst women, Afro-Caribbeans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are more likely to be obese than the general population, whereas Indian women are less likely. Levels of obesity  among Chinese immigrants, on the other hand, are much lower than the overall population.

It is clear that many immigrants, particularly from poorer countries, will have been exposed to a wider range of viruses which can trigger certain diseases like cancer, have genes which make them more vulnerable to some medical conditions or else will have cultural practices which increase the demands placed upon the NHS.

How can we have a reasoned and sensible debate about immigration, if we pretend (in the interests of political correctness) that this situation doesn’t even exist?

 

3 comments to Race and culture and health – the great NHS taboo?

  • Paris Claims

    Did you forget to mention TB?
    Or the high incidence of Aids in our recently imported African colonisers?

  • Peter

    Managers in all of the Public Sector: No one should be appointed to a managerial position in the public sector unless they have had many years in management in the private sector. Employ rubbish you get rubbish. The NHS , instead of being continuously fiddled with by Politicians who have never held a proper job , should have been TAKEN apart from the TOP down and reassembled for PATIENTS. It has long been a managers RING where managers like Quango Kings and Queens move from one hospital to another . This has been going on for years . The NHS is a wonderful idea, that has long since stopped working , and is now a managers paradise, where there are more paper pushes in a group than anyone else. Time we stopped using Politicians, who have never done anything else than work in politics , getting involved in things they know nothing about..

  • Paris Claims

    Romanians coming to Britain without a job are being offered apprenticeships under a government scheme designed to get unemployed young Britons into a job.

    Agencies in Romania are targeting would be migrants wishing to take advantage of recent lifting of the immigration controls and advertising the apprenticeships which pay up to £1000 and on the job training.

    The government is clearly upset that the flood of Romanians has yet to materialise, and is doing its best to rectify the situation.

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