The work life balance of our nation is incredibly important if we are to ensure economic growth. Longer working hours may enable increased productivity but only as a short-term measure. We are not robots. Eventually our systems fail and everything will come crashing to a standstill unless we find way to preserve health and wellbeing as a priority.
For years of life lost due to premature mortality, in comparison with the European average, the UK does worse in 2010 in ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, breast cancer, other cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, oesophageal cancer, pre-term birth complications, congenital anomalies, and aortic aneurysm.
For all the government's tough talk of protecting the NHS, £2.2bn from the NHS budget was handed back to the Treasury in last week's budget. Ministers have let care standards slip as they obsess over an unnecessary reorganisation that's taken £3bn out of patient care when the frontline is making unprecedented savings.
Emergency medical treatment should of course always be provided to those who require it at the point of need without exception. Beyond that, entitlement to free healthcare is considerably more generous to visitors and short-term residents than is reciprocated for UK citizens abroad and our system is the most liberal, and lax, than anywhere else in the world.