Thursday, 5 April 2007

Fund-raising for the NHS

The petition is entitled hold a fundraising night for the NHS and the explanatory notes say
"We raise alot of money for places abroad when WE need money to help us. I think we should have a night like the comic relief night to help the NHS which is in desperate need of money."


This is a very noble, at-first-glance-sensible plan. I admire the innovativeness. (Is that a word? My spell-checker thinks so ...)

The Official Red Nose Day website tells me that the 2007 Red Nose Day raised a whopping "£40,236,142 million" - but unfortunately, I think that's a lie. I think they've accidentally added an extra "million" there - the Wikipedia page about it only references £40,236,142, and that's in line with previous years' results, too.

So a very nice £40 million raised.

The Budget 2006 (warning, PDF file) says that in 2007-2008, annual spending on the NHS should be about £92 billion.

So the amount raised by Comic Relief is less than one-twenty-fifth of one percent - is four percent of one percent - of the cost of the NHS ...

So even leaving aside all the political implications of fund-raising for the NHS this way (it's rather contrary to how the NHS is supposed to be funded, after all - but at the same time, it's not new. For years I got my Christmas cards from the cancer unit that treated my grandmother, to help their fund-raising) unfortunately, it's hopelessly impractical.

I remember a quote, and I cannot think where from, that says something like: "Oh, for a beautiful day in the future when hospitals and schools can buy all the medicine and books they need, and the RAF and Army have to have bake-sales to buy guns". Of course, given the recent reports about ill-equipped soldiers in the gulf, we seem to have got the less-good bit of that without the good bit ...

1 comment:

Paul Leake said...

I suspect Sarah K could source you that quote.