LETTER: Explains a lot ...

Having just read the book “How To Dismantle The NHS in 10 Easy Steps”, written by a UK doctor. I can begin to see the bigger picture of what’s happened/happening to our health service.

For over three decades, under all governments, there has been a stealthy erosion of our NHS and proliferation of privatisation (which has near tripled admin costs incidently).

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to build/equip hospitals has plunged such hospitals into massive debt before they even treat a patient.

Some are paying their PFI ‘partner’ interest rates of around 70 per cent. Plus, sweetener deals meant one such hospital paid £52,000 for a job costed at £750.

Private hospitals paid to treat NHS patients charge a higher tariff for that treatment than it costs on the NHS.

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In some cases, private hospitals receive payments on a ‘retainer’ basis and are paid whether they have treated patients or not.

Alternative providers of medical services (APMS) tender to run services (walk-in centres) with tax-payer money, but details of these tendering processes are hidden us, covered by ‘corporate confidentiality clauses’.

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In my opinion it is a wholly unacceptable way to conduct business with tax-payers money.

Therefore, demographic pressures, advances in medical science, even health tourism, are certainly not the main drain on a publicly funded health care system.

A publicly funded health care system remains, in my view, the most cost-effective way of delivering equitable health care in a nation state with a relatively stable economy.

However, this cannot be achieved when private companies are creaming off funds in such an extortionate way. We are now very, very close to a universal PRIVATE health care system, and thus the loss of equity in health care.

Please read Dr El-Gingihy’s book


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