Another Doctor with his head in the sand.. Deadliest cancers more likely to strike the poorest people


Dr Mark Porter in The Times 27th May 2014 opines against a “pay to see your GP” introduction. He fails to address any change in values to allow for the cost of new technologies. It is the post code and opaque nature of the rationing of these services, most of which are very expensive, which is bringing back fear. The values of 1948 were all very well in 1948. (“I remain committed to the three core principles laid out on July 5, 1948, when Bevan launched the NHS: that it should meet the needs of everyone, be based on clinical need rather than ability to pay, and be free at the point of delivery.” ) Dr Porter claims introducing charges will be like Saskatchewan 40 years ago, but then there were non-reclaimable charges for everyone including the poorest. In NZ 20 years of experience in giving back the charge to the poorest has addressed this. The debate continues – without a debate on the issues that would really make a difference…

Dr Mark Porter: Charging patients is not the answer – Another Doctor with his head in the sand..

General practice needs more money but the NHS will only survive if we use it responsibly and deliver it efficiently

Doctors may have overwhelmingly rejected the idea of charging patients up to £25 to consult their GP, but the mere fact that they were debating…

..The think tank Reform has suggested that raising prescription charges and charging for frontline services such as GPs would reduce demand by encouraging us all to use the service responsibly. It also says it would bring in much needed extra revenue of up to £3 billion a year. ..

…France is often held up by pro-charge campaigners as an example of good practice. The French currently pay about £20 to see a GP and a state-backed insurance scheme then reimburses the fee (or most of it at least). Patient satisfaction is high but it comes at a cost — France spends 11.7 per cent of GDP on healthcare, while we spend just 9.4 per cent. And herein lies the nub of the problem. It is not how you pay, it is how much you pay. …

Alexi Mostrous reports in the same paper: Deadliest cancers more likely to strike the poorest people so despite equal opportunity and access there are some people who won’t be helped.

Poor people are more likely than the wealthy to develop the more deadly types of cancer, an American study suggests.

Out of 39 types of cancer examined, 32 showed a significant association with poverty. Cancers associated with “lower incidence and higher mortality”, such as those of the larynx, cervix, penis and liver, were more likely to occur in the poorest communities, the US study found.

Cancers with lower death rates, including melanoma, thyroid and testicular cancer, were more prevalent in richer communities.

“The cancers more associated with poverty have lower incidence and higher mortality,” Francis Boscoe, of the New York State Cancer Registry and joint author of the report, said. “When it comes to cancer, the poor are more likely to die of the disease; the affluent are more likely to die with the disease.”

Dr Boscoe and his team investigated records of nearly three million tumours diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 in 16 US states, dividing them into four categories based on the poverty rate in the area….


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Post Code Lottery, Professionals, 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.

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