Friday, December 23, 2011

NHS Reform & Hospital Consultants: Private! Private! Private!

There is a good deal of time and effort wasted in discussing GP commissioning and some lip service paid to integrating Primary and Secondary Care.

Yet, those in power had little regard for Parliamentary democracy and all the signs are that Privateers are waiting in the wings like the Barracuda for its yummy meal.

Great Barracuda waiting / ©2009 Am Ang Zhang

Is it really that difficult to grasp! I wrote a little while back:

Most people in well paid jobs (including those at the GMC) have health insurance. GPs have traditionally been gatekeepers and asked for specialist help when needed. If we are honest about private insurance it is not about Primary Care, that most of us have quick access to; it is about Specialist Care, from IVF to Caesarian Section ( and there are no Nurse Specialists doing that yet), from Appendectomy to Colonic Cancer treatment (and Bare Foot doctors in the Mao era cannot do the latter either), from keyhole knee work for Cricketers to full hip-replacements, from Stents to Heart Transplants, from Anorexia Nervosa to Schizophrenia, from Trigeminal Neuralgia to Multifocal Glioma, from prostate cancer to kidney transplant and I could go on and on. China realised in 1986 you need well trained Specialists to do those. We do not seem to learn from the mistakes of others.

When there are not enough specialists to go round in any country money is used to ration care.

There is unfortunately little realisation that soon, a large number of consultants would no longer be working in NHS Hospitals. 

Stent, Hips and others

They will be working for Private Hospitals that initially will be offering services to NHS patients. But because of shortage of the said consultants, those that are concerned that at 78% obstruction, their heart and life may not last the wait and they will pay for the job. 

My friend just did in some other country: a bargain at US$ 50,000.

What about your painful hips, the Consortia decided to impose a wait time to limit cost. So you too paid for it. That is what my golfing friend did in Flroida for a bargain US$90,000 as he paid a co-pay of 25%.

So there are not enough Consultants and shortage creates demand and you can name your price. Consultants do not really want to waste time in consortia arguing about the price of Stents or Hips. 

Private patients will now have priority and NHS patients will fill in the slack. Very clever indeed. 
Reform will not save any money but it will make a few City people very rich, very rich indeed.

Some very clever people indeed are working for the government.  Some will be elevated to the upper House soon. 

Is it Conspiracy or Cockup? You decide.

1 comment:

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