Skip to comments.Less than a third support health reforms that will allow private companies to provide NHS
Posted on 01/30/2011 11:41:55 AM PST by Nachum
Radical health reforms which will allow private companies to provide NHS services, have less than a third of the public's support, a poll has revealed. The YouGov survey found only 27 percent of people are behind controversial plans proposed by health secretary Andrew Lansley to let profit-making companies increase their role in the service. The shake-up dubbed by experts as the 'biggest' in NHS history will allow GPs in England the power to commission £80 billion of treatment for patients - 80 per cent of the entire health service budget - from 'any willing provider'.
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Stupid Brits. Live like slaves then.
Odd considering that the experience with dentistry is that allowing the private sector to provide services has, for the most part, worked out for us.
Not so odd considering that wherever admin (particularly IT) services have been outsourced to the private sector, you can guarantee diabolical IT support and greater downtime due to the outsourcers sitting on their hands for eight hours while clinicians are screaming at them that they can’t get a job done.
There’s a hospital outside Glasgow (Golden Jubilee) that was built by HCI, and they couldn’t make it profitable. The Scottish NHS bought it. It’s now providing the same services the private companies wanted to offer, but since nobody expects an NHS hospital in Scotland to be profitable people are happy enough that it’s breaking even. They’ve even retained a 4 star hotel on the premises and a lot of the fixtures and fittings put in for the comfort of private patients are now used by poor Scots who pay nothing up-front for their care.
Equally there are examples in Cambridgeshire of NHS hospitals that can’t survive without private investment.
Anyone in the UK who advocates the NHS model over the private sector model, or who advocates the American model for the UK, needs to be mindful of the fact that they are not comparing like with like - there are huge cultural differences, geographic differences, economic differences, political differences, and infrastructure differences, between the UK and the USA.
I personally like the American approach and do a lot of work in private healthcare but the private sector in the UK is a good fifty years away from being capable of rendering the monolithic NHS redundant and based on observation they’re not in any great rush to take over from the NHS either.
DON’T KEEP MAKING THE MISTAKE OF BELIEVING THESE LIBERAL POLL RELEASES
If you have been getting your health care for “free” for close to 60 years, I can see why many people would not want to have an employers health plan that would require them to contribute. I also marvel that the horror stories like women giving birth unattended in hospital hallways, patients lying in their own feces in hospital wards and poor survival rates for cancers because of waiting for diagnosis and treatment have not triggered massive calls for reform. In the US any hospital facility or health care provider who allowed this to happen would be sued. The Brits seem remarkably complacent about the horrendous health care they are receiving.
Well, I can’t argue with what you just said.
“Free at the point of use” (from the NHS standpoint) isn’t just about the fact people don’t have to open their wallets before they get treated; a lot of it is down to the fact that most people have been assured throughout their lives, that they will never have to deal with an insurance company for their healthcare needs.
A lot of Baby Boomers and pensioners are still spitting feathers over the fact they now have to pay for prescriptions, spectacles and dentures, all contrary to what they were told when the NHS was first set up. That’s why politicians are really worried about trying to sell the private model; it does amount to telling people “we’ve taken your National Insurance for forty years, now we’re going to renege on our promise”.
Without having to deal with healthcare insurers, most people are informed by their experiences of insurance companies in other sectors like motor insurance or home insurance - and that’s not a good thing. They look at the hoops they have to jump through just to get a car insurer to pay out when the other driver’s clearly in the wrong, and just assume that a private healthcare insurer would invariably mess them about in similar fashion.
There’s a stand-up comic called Gina Yashere who’s emigrated from London to America, who uses that exact point in her repertoire. She claims to have been “stung” for $15k for one night obs in an American hospital, and furthermore, she claims she’d rather spend 8 hours getting back to a hospital in England than risk copping another $15k bill for a stint in an American one.
I find her anecdote to be utterly far-fetched - $2500 would be a reasonable fee if she’s dumb enough to be uninsured and I’d certainly not prefer to spend 8 hours travelling plus 4 hours in a waiting room, to avoid a fee as low as $2500. But plenty of people fall for her schtick.