BBC News covers “NHS rationing” – without honesty from our politicians we cannot move forward: only backward

A search through the BBC archives gives an interesting list of reports on “NHS rationing”. The fact that there is in many ways no “national” health service has not yet occurred to the BBC reporters…. Politicians have denied the existence of “rationing” for over two decades. There is no sign that they will change their “lines” now. The economist comments in “Pay-as-you-go government – August 29th 2015” about the temptation to tax indirectly and on consumption …. and admits that it’s a sensible way to be honest. Without honesty from our politicians we cannot move forward: only backward


….”Charges can be an efficient way of rationing public services. London’s congestion charge, an £11.50 levy on cars entering the city centre, prevents its streets from getting clogged. Parking charges force people to vacate sought-after spaces. After Newcastle introduced a small fee for its municipal rat-catching service in 2014, the number of call-outs dropped by 35%, which the council put down to residents dealing with the problem themselves by “clearing out their sheds” (others say there are simply more rats about). Local authorities rightly balk at cutting spending on social services while subsidising bars’ licensing applications to the tune of £170m a year.

Taxing decisions

But some of the so-called charges are much more like taxes. Technocrats at the Office for National Statistics classify a charge as a payment related to the use, and cost, of a service. If a charge is above cost, or separate from the person’s use of a service, then it is a tax. That leaves the Home Office’s pricey visas and NHS surcharge looking uncomfortably tax-like….


Nick Triggle 22nd May 2012; Patients suffering under NHS rationing, say GPs

1st December 2012 – The moral maze: Rationing the NHS

2013:‘Stark variation in NHS surgery due to rationing’

24th September 2007: NHS rationing rife, say doctors

Catriona Renton on 22nd November 2017: NHS rationing

6th August 1999: NHS rationing: The key areas 

1999 Richard Hannaford: GPs admit to rationing care

January 18th 1999: Rationing row hots up 

7th Jan 1999: Patients suffer from NHS rationing 

1998: Dobson ‘must accept NHS rationing’ 

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.

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