Monday, May 15, 2017

Yes, British Conservatives Weaken Support for National Health Service – And It Can Kill

Along with the help of the IT Idiots at the NHS

In Britain there are two things about health care worth knowing.  The first is that the Brits have a national health care system, NHS which people like and the second is that the Conservative Party is in control of the government and they don’t like NHS.  One result, NHS survives but with weak funding.

A second result is that NHS still uses Microsoft Windows XP, about which there is this to say.

Many of the N.H.S. computers still run Windows XP, an out-of-date software that no longer gets security updates from its maker, Microsoft. A government contract with Microsoft to update the software for the N.H.S. expired two years ago.
Microsoft discontinued the security updates for Windows XP in 2014. It made a patch, or fix, available in newer versions of Windows for the flaws that were exploited in Friday’s cyberattacks. But the health service does not seem to have installed either the newer version of Windows or the patch.
Why not, well there is the problem of money which the Conservative Party hates to spend on health care, much as conservatives in the U. S. hate to spend government money on health care.

Several news reports have addressed the outdated systems of the N.H.S. that potentially left confidential patient data vulnerable to attack. Last November, Sky News did an investigation showing that units of the N.H.S., serving more than two million people, spent nothing on cybersecurity in 2015. . . . .
The N.H.S., founded after World War II, employs 1.6 million people with a combined budget of £140 billion, making it one of the largest employers in the world.
But its budget is always under pressure and the Conservatives, while increasing funding, have been sharply criticized by opposition parties for not devoting enough resources for new, more expensive treatments and to cope with an aging population.

And of course there are the nincompoops who did nothing in the face of warnings.  Combine idiocy and conservatism and you get a disastrous attack on a nation’s health care system.

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