Unwilling to discuss philosophy – ask Frank for a “financial solution”!

Toby Helm in The Observer, Saturday 17 May 2014 reports: Tories approach Labour MP Frank Field to help tackle NHS deficit


Field to meet health secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss raising national insurance contributions

A Tory minister has asked Labour MP Frank Field to meet the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to discuss his ideas for raising national insurance contributions to pay for the NHS, in a sign that the Conservatives are considering radical options to plug the huge funding gap.

Field told the Observer that he was approached by the minister, who said the financial crisis in the NHS needed to be addressed and that he was right to be floating ideas on how the service could be maintained and put on a sound financial footing for future generations.

Field told the minister he would be willing to meet the health secretary, but not before he had held talks with shadow chancellor Ed Balls about his proposals, which he did last Tuesday.

According to Field, the minister also said that the financial crisis in the NHS had been the subject of discussions at high levels in government in recent weeks.

Field is drawing up proposals that he says will help to fill a looming £30bn a year “black hole” in NHS funding that will occur by 2020.

Without action, he says, a Labour or any other government would be faced with the prospect of having to make swingeing cuts across the other public services, far deeper than envisaged so far, to maintain the NHS in anything like its current form….

Mr Hunt and colleagues in the coalition are unwilling to discuss philosophy – so they ask Frank for a “financial solution”.. Copayments through the back door of increased NI contributions. Until they are willing to challenge that the Health Services will provide “everything for everyone for ever” they are bound to fail. Raising NI contributions is a short term fix of the worst sort. It does not even have the virtue of a “hypothecated taxation“. It will be interesting to hear what Wales, Scotland and Ireland have to say: I expect them to embrace the suggestions – after all who questions more money? Is the crisis so severe that the normal “limbo” period will be ignored? (An NHS in Limbo – for how long? GP votes for 2015 “undecided”..) Talk about shuffling deckchairs and increasing inequalities

Miliband urged to fund care of the elderly with higher tax. (No Philosophy or Rationing debate – yet).

At last – an attempt at philosophy. (Utilitarianism) Patients must pay extra for NHS, leading doctor says

A new philosophy, what I believe: allow Trust Board members to use the language of rationing in media press releases

Philosophy at last…

Prescription Charges and philosophy

Everything for everyone forever? (Philosophy, honesty and accuracy)

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

1 thought on “Unwilling to discuss philosophy – ask Frank for a “financial solution”!

  1. Pingback: NHS ‘facing funding gap of up to £2bn’ in England | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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