The British National Health system is the largest organisation in Europe and responsible for Britain's free hospitals, doctors, nurses and family doctors. Like the Swiss Krankenkasen, the British National Health Service is the victim of spiraling price increases and is desperate to save money wherever it can. Last week they announced a new idea to save cash: they proposed sending all blood and tissue samples from UK hospitals, usually handled by British laboratories, to India for analysis.

The reasoning was that flying the samples to the sub-continent and having the results emailed or faxed back to the UK would take hardly any longer, while the cost savings are dramatic. A laboratory technician in India earns less than fr750 a month, almost a tenth of their British equivalent.

Over the last fifty years Britain has undergone an industrial revolution in reverse, losing most of its major manufacturing industries. Gone are the steel works, coal mines and automotive factories. The British economy has painfully been forced to change from manufacturing to the so-called tertiary sector of invisible earnings - services and financial services. Now it seems that there is nothing that cannot be done as well and more cheaply abroad. If I call the telephone number on my UK bank's monthly statement it does not connect me with my local branch. It does not even connect me with the UK any more. My bank uses a call center in India to handle its enquiries.

Britain's painful industrial decline is not helped by either its management or workforce. The British Post Office, the postal delivery part of which was grandly known since its founding by King Charles I in 1635 as the 'Royal Mail', ineptly changed its name to 'Consignia' in 2001. Despite changing the signs outside every Post Office in the country to 'Consignia' and extensive advertising running into £100s of millions, its customers defiantly still called it the Post Office. Fourteen months after its launch in an about-turn and at further costs of millions, Consignia management converted its branches back to the 'Post Office'. Once it had its old name back, the closure of 3,000 branches was announced.

Today that same organization suffers badly from absenteeism. At any one time 10,000 of their 170,000 strong workforce are off work, postal workers take an average of 12 days off a year for illness. In an attempt to reverse this trend the Post Office management introduced a new scheme: postal workers who don't take any sick leave for six months will be entered into a prize draw for a new car. The Royal Mail is giving away 34 Ford Focus cars (all made in Germany), 68 holiday vouchers (for holidays outside the UK) worth fr5,000 each to its workers, for simply coming to work. The company says that 10,000 people are absent at any one time in the organization, costing hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

British jobs are being exported to the Far East and the jobs that remain are not popular either. Britain led the original industrial revolution and now leads the 'post-industrial' revolution too. The same situation applies more or less throughout Europe. How many Swiss products do we now see with instead of 'Made in Switzerland', the ominous words 'Designed in Switzerland' printed on them? They are made where labor costs are low, in the Far East. Companies always say they regret the move to the East, but state that unless they move, they cannot remain competitive and survive.

Change is painful, and Britain's change to a post-industrial society is as painful as any. The change cannot be halted and however efficient, dynamic and innovative a manufacturer is, market forces cannot be beaten. British vacuum cleaner revolutionary James Dyson, whose bag-less machines have 44% of the UK market and are sold throughout the world had a purpose-built factory constructed in England to make his world-beating products. Dyson has now moved production to Malaysia, loosing 800 jobs in the process. Twenty-five years ago the British labour unions would have made loud protests; today such closures happen daily even under the eye of a socialist government.

Being at the receiving end of economic theory is rarely a pleasant experience and an experience one cannot fight change. To survive as a country and an individual one has to accept the inevitable and exploit the opportunities that arise. Instead of wasting energy protesting and worrying about closing factories and industries, think of it this way: we are not witnessing the decline of the West and rise of the East, but rather the transfer of our manufacturing centres to places where people are willing to do what we have lost enthusiasm for.