The NHS has launched an investigation into thefts, amid reports criminals see the service as an “easy target”. So far the police have yet to question this man-
The British Medical Association has called for continued investment in the National Health Service and has warned against the dangers of a ‘slash and burn’ cull of staff and services in a bid to save money.
The Association has this week launched its UK General Election manifesto – Standing up for Doctors, Standing up for Health – calling on all political parties to acknowledge the value of the NHS, which, it stresses, “provides better value for money than any comparable healthcare system in the world”, and to commit to the long-term sustainability of the service.
The NHS is currently facing one the toughest challenges since its inception, having to weather a period of economic downturn and tighter budget constraints at a time when demand on its services is increasing.
But Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the BMA, argues that “even during a time of financial stringency, continued investment in the NHS is vital”, and he warns that “a slash and burn response to the need for savings would be dangerous and short-sighted, risking long-term damage to the infrastructure of the health service”.
In another attack on the use of private providers to fill gaps in the service, the manifesto claims efficiency savings could be delivered if the NHS in “were restored as a publicly provided service”, and it says that instead of being directed at frontline services the axe must fall on “expensive market-based policies, such as the overuse of private management consultants, the Private Finance Initiative and Independent Sector Treatment Centres”.
“When the drivers are profits, it has to be asked whether patients’ interests are really being served, and value for money being achieved,” Meldrum said, and argued that “creating a market means high transactional costs and bureaucracy, with money that could be spent on patient care going to private companies and shareholders”.
15 December, 2009 at 7:59 pm
I never understood all this market charade within the NHS. Same as the illusory market within the utilities. It all comes through the same pipes and cables. Unless you want the swedish model of multiple post boxes. With regard to GP’S practices I was recently told by a specialist nurse in the hospital that I had to exaggerate the extent, and therefore, medicine required of my complaint to get it past `the budget’ of my local surgery. It affects their financial plan. These are people on £100,000 plus telling the working poor, such as myself, to cut down and behave myself.
15 December, 2009 at 8:15 pm
Yes the internal market which the Tories started & NL furthered is ludicrous, I also find the 100 grand for GP’s a bit wrong, they should be well paid and have good terms and conditions but just chucking money at them is bribery not reform and indeed as a person lives in a higher wage subculture they lose the empathy with the majority who live on a fifth of their salary.