Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Annoying? Or a return to fear!

Elephant: I have listened. So now go away! So Annoying!

©Am Ang Zhang 2005

The NHS, he told us, is simply not sustainable in its present form and its commitments can no longer be met from taxes. This controversial claim is far from true.

Cameron's twin strategy is to continue with market competition on the assumption that it improves cost-efficiency, and raise new forms of funding by facilitating the introduction of private insurance and patient top-up fees. While competition is now proclaimed by government as an unqualified good, the second prong of the strategy – moving to user charges and insurance funds – dare not speak its name. But key to both are the consequences for redistribution or fairness.

…….The bill, as designed, will allow commissioners (purchasers of healthcare or insurers) to pick and choose patients and services. It abolishes the duty to secure or provide comprehensive care, and permits GP consortiums to recruit members, and introduce charges and private health insurance, as well as enter into joint ventures with private companies.

In a market, insurers and commercial providers must be able to limit their risks by carefully selecting members on the basis of ability to pay and predictable costs.

Across the country primary care trusts, in advance of their own abolition, are closing NHS hospitals.

It heralds a return to pre-1948 arrangements
 of inequitable charitable and private provision,
mixed funding –

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