"What's it all about? Know what I mean?"
Like Michael Caine at the end of the film Alfie, I'm wondering that very question.
There is now a new government in place in the United Kingdom. The Tories (conservatives) won by agreeing to a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. Just to make matters more confusing, I've learned that the Labour party is actually more liberal than the Liberal Democrats. Just when you think you've got the players straight... geez! I also discovered that when one votes here, one votes for the whole slate of the party, not individuals. So one can't split their vote between candidates for different parties.
Of course David Cameron, who promised not to cut the budget of the NHS, now says that his government must somehow find 9 billion in savings. Everyone now seems a bit nervous. Apparently all projects, initiatives and programs put into place by the previous government could very easily be wiped out by the new one. The previous government favored cutting expenses on institutional-based care in favor of community care. The new government, although unlikely, could turn everything around 180 degrees. That would be very bad for my team!
In the meantime the attitude of "Let's get on with it" pervades and we all go about our work until things get clearer. In some respects it doesn't feel so different from working in the United States, where I wondered if the therapy cap would come back, if the state would cut funding for the Medicaid program I worked for or if Medicare rates would be rolled back according to the SGR formula if congress didn't act.
It is unfortunate that the worst of both health care systems seem to translate all too well across the pond.