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Habeas Domus

Conservatives Moving To A 'pay Nhs' ?

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Imagine for a moment that you are the newly re-elected Conservative Prime Minister, and you want to launch an inquiry into whether the NHS should be paid for in future through user charges and insurance, not through tax.

But you’ve got a problem - you’ve just won an election without breathing a word that you were considering such a fundamental change to the funding of the NHS.

So how would you make such an announcement?

Very quietly, of course.

Last week the government did just that.

If David Cameron, or his Chancellor or Health Secretary had announced such an inquiry to re-consider a principle that has been sacrosanct since 1946, you’d expect front page headlines and Newsnight specials considering the implications. You’d expect a bit of a flurry (to say the least) about whether Cameron was back-tracking from his promises about what voters said was their number one issue.

But the launch of this inquiry has not been reported in the mainstream media, at all.

Why? Because it was casually announced by a little known minister, the newly ennobled “Under Secretary of State for NHS Productivity", Lord David Prior, in the rarefied atmosphere of a House of Lords debate on the “sustainability” of the NHS, moved on 9th July by crossbench peer Lord Patel.

...

We suggest contacting your MP and pointing out to them that the government health minister, Lord Prior, has just suggested to parliament that he plans to launch an inquiry to consider whether we should move away from a tax-funded NHS towards one funded by insurance and co-payments.

Ask them (if they are a Conservative MP) or ask them to ask David Cameron in parliament (if they are not) whether it is now official government policy to consider such a move to an insurance or user-fee funded NHS, away from the core principles of the NHS that have been in place since 1946?

You might also want to remind them that David Cameron said in 2011:

'Let me make this clear - we will not be moving towards an insurance scheme, we will not introduce an American-style private system. In this country, we have this most wonderful, precious institution and idea. That whenever you're ill, however rich you are, you can walk into a hospital or surgery and get treated for free. No questions asked. No cash asked. I will never put that at risk.'

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/richard-grimes/government-moves-to-consider-nhs-user-charges

"free at the point of need"

Edited by Habeas Domus

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"free at the point of need"

You say that if tis bad.

Our free at point of use if casuing massive problems and not helping the country remain healthy.

Frankly, the NHS resources are being pissed away on hypochodrics

The more left-wing countries of Europe operate a mix of sub + insurance.

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You say that if tis bad.

Our free at point of use if casuing massive problems and not helping the country remain healthy.

Frankly, the NHS resources are being pissed away on hypochodrics

The more left-wing countries of Europe operate a mix of sub + insurance.

Totally agree with that. Write to your MP and tell them to fix the nhs so its not a waste of money. Also, scrap excessive benefits to wealthy pensioners.

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What problems? We have the most efficient health service in the world.

The problem is the crony corps want a bigger slice of the £100bn+ of tax payers money, then we can pay twice for half the service like most other parts of the world. Job done, I'm alright jack, Tory mission accomplished ;).

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The problem is the crony corps want a bigger slice of the £100bn+ of tax payers money, then we can pay twice for half the service like most other parts of the world. Job done, I'm alright jack, Tory mission accomplished ;).

^^This .

We had this argument on here 5 or 6 years ago. QED. The NHS isn't perfect - but it sure is was cost effective. Soon to be destroyed.

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On related area FT reporting that: "The government is preparing to retreat from an election promise to cap the sums elderly people have to pay towards care home fees amid a growing crisis over funding." A pretty significant post pension reform and election uturn if it happens.

'Funding gap threatens care home fee cap'
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9b4db378-2bc9-11e5-acfb-cbd2e1c81cca.html

Edit: BBC - Care costs cap 'delayed until 2020' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33552279

Edited by northshore

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We were rated last year by the common wealth fund as #1 in the world. The problems in the NHS are due to a multi decade plan to slowly squeeze it and break it up. The blueprints are laid out in books which state how to run down and sell off state assets. British Rail suffered the same fate I believe.

Jeremy Hunt authored a book which talks about privatising the NHS. He's now in charge of it. Let that sink in.

Take a look at an American's point of view of US vs NHS: http://uk.businessinsider.com/an-american-uses-britain-nhs-2015-1?r=US&IR=T

"The bottom line: I prefer the NHS to the American private system. It's a little more inconvenient in terms of appointment times, but due to the fact that it is free, has no paperwork, and the treatment on the day is super-fast, the NHS wins. That Rolls Royce is moving at a pretty decent clip.

And, of course, there is the small matter of the fact that the NHS covers everyone equally, whereas Americans get care based on their ability to pay, leaving tens of millions with only minimal access to care. (Obamacare is changing that, but it's leagues behind the NHS if you're comparing them by the standard of universal full-service coverage.)

Americans think they have the best healthcare in the world. Take it from me, a fellow American: They don't"

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On related area FT reporting that: "The government is preparing to retreat from an election promise to cap the sums elderly people have to pay towards care home fees amid a growing crisis over funding." A pretty significant post pension reform and election uturn if it happens.

'Funding gap threatens care home fee cap'

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9b4db378-2bc9-11e5-acfb-cbd2e1c81cca.html

Edit: BBC - Care costs cap 'delayed until 2020' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33552279

But but but there's no money, we have to run a massive surplus, the state is too big, labour are profligate etc etc etc.

An ageing population consumes more or its aggregate resources on care. Simples.

Just spend it. The world (even a Tory one) won't end.

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Means tested NHS? Or a percentage of income contribution?

Private health care may get more competitive. Would be nice to get that middle management fat layer out of the system.

Edited by Fairyland

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Would be nice to get that middle management fat layer out of the system.

Trust me this will add another layer or three, suddenly every item has to be costed and invoiced to the patients and/or insurance companies, that involves a HUGE rise in the bureaucracy needed. In fact you could look at this as a giant job creation scheme.

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Means tested NHS? Or a percentage of income contribution?

Private health care may get more competitive. Would be nice to get that middle management fat layer out of the system.

It's interesting that this idea that the NHS is badly managed because it has "too many" managers has become such a dominant meme that it is simply accepted unchallenged.

How many managers should they have, and how do you determine the level? I suppose you've come to your view after an analysis of comparator organisations that showed other similar organisations typically have lower levels of management staff?

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Trust me this will add another layer or three, suddenly every item has to be costed and invoiced to the patients and/or insurance companies, that involves a HUGE rise in the bureaucracy needed. In fact you could look at this as a giant job creation scheme.

I don't see how people don't get this.

For every £ in inefficiency in a publicly run system you would have to save about another £10 just to cover the cost of advertising, billing, an insurance industry, dispute settlement that a private system entails.

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In an American study less than half of the money went to patient care in the private system. That includes buying the drugs/equipment and the care side.

Hugely inefficient . Hugely profitable.

Combine that with the awful western diet and you've got a solid profit for generations.

Edited by Assume The Opposite

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In other European countries, you pay a small fee when you visit a doctor - equivalent of around £10-15. This small fee, if introduced with the NHS could act as a filter for all the hypochondriacs and deter using the local GP as a general purpose talking shop. I also think that healthcare in many respects is stuck in the last century and has not maximised its use of technology such as cheap/free video conferencing/telephony. AI diagnosis can also prove to be reliable for many ailments.

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The fee is a good idea in principle but the costs of actually adminstering it are more. I can't remember which country in Europe tried but they abolished it for the same reasons. The NHS is being squeezed, simple as. If you look at the MP's with private healthcare interests your eyes will pop out.

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The fee is a good idea in principle but the costs of actually adminstering it are more. I can't remember which country in Europe tried but they abolished it for the same reasons. The NHS is being squeezed, simple as. If you look at the MP's with private healthcare interests your eyes will pop out.

Can you name one country in mainlad Europe that does not charge a GP fee?

The fee is not really to raise revenue, rather to act as drag and stop hypochdriacs filling up the waiting room.

And no, it would nto cost more to administer.

Corner shops can manage charinging £1 for paper.

Im sure a £20 fee can be easily managed.

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You say that if tis bad.

Our free at point of use if casuing massive problems and not helping the country remain healthy.

Frankly, the NHS resources are being pissed away on hypochodrics

The more left-wing countries of Europe operate a mix of sub + insurance.

Sweden is popularly supposed to be a socialist utopia, but a Swedish friend tells me that you pay for GP visits and trips to A and E - Ok, not a large amount, but you do pay. Also, nobody except perhaps children is exempt from prescription charges, although there is a yearly cap on the amount - I think she said it was something like £100. Her old dad was still paying for his at 94, and he wasn't well off.

I have said it before on here, but an elderly friend of ours used to stockpile various prescription items - I once counted over 60 in his bathroom, gathering dust. It made me mad - and eventually they were all chucked out by a visiting friend who was an ex nurse. He is not hard up at all, but is also tight with money, and if he'd had to pay for them I know he would never have stockpiled so much.

And I bet he's not the only one - far from it.

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