We are rationing the wrong way – and without a philosophical debate it will get worse

We are rationing the wrong way – and without a philosophical debate it will get worse. We should avoid rationing proven and effective therapies, especially if expensive, and ration out the cheap and cheerful ones. People are afraid of what they cannot afford or access… not of not having paracetamol, skin emollients, or nit treatment. If we get into deserts based rationing, then we might create incentives for mothers to breastfeed, and bigger disincentives than cost if they avoid it… The demographics demand a rational approach, as “Men near equality with women in life expectancy”..(Kat Lay in the Times 30th April 2015)……Calculate your own life expectancy by area… People should be encouraged to look after themselves more… Belgravia life expectancy 91 years, and Stockton on Tees 67 years…Smitha Mundasad for the BBC, 39th April 2015,  gives easier graphics.. see bottom page.

 opines 29th April in The Guardian “My plea to the NHS: decide whether or not my life is worth saving, and call me”. I have leukaemia. I’m a mum. A second bone marrow transplant is my only chance but the NHS must approve it. Six weeks on I’m still in the dark, waiting …


I had no idea. The day my GP phoned and asked me casually if I might be able to make my way up to King’s College hospital that afternoon for further tests, I had been on my way to the leisure centre. I continued on and swam 30 laps before I arrived [at the hospital].

When the doctors told me, the first words out of my mouth were: “But I don’t have life insurance.” I felt a dread, as if Death with his scythe lurked just behind me. “My children,” I thought over and over again. “My children.”…

Chris Smyth reports 29th April in The Times: Breastfeeding helps protect against return of cancer -Breast cancer patients who have previously breast-fed their babies are less likely to have the disease return and are less likely to die of it, research has found.

Dr Neil Barnard reports 24th August 2013 in The Times: Protect your brain at every age: Breast-fed babies have higher IQs than bottle-fed babies.

Nigel Hawkes on 20th May 2007 points out that overfeeding (and subsequent obesity) are linked to bottle feeding. Mothers who switched from breast to bottle ‘were misled’

Life expectancy is improving for both sexes

This entry was posted in A Personal View, 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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