The important thing about rationing is to be honest about it and not obfuscate. Every citizen should know what is NOT covered by their membership of their particular Regional Health Mutual. Dr Banfield is following the lead given by the members in Cardiff earlier this year.. But the politicians are already objecting and apparently wish their citizens to be unaware of what is not available! Once the debate has begun we can debate the best and most ethical and pragmatic ways to ration, with help from the Kings Fund and the Nuffield Trust. see (Nuffield Trust Report on Rationing )
A senior Welsh doctor has called for a debate on rationing services in the Welsh NHS ahead of the Assembly election in May.
Dr Phil Banfield, Welsh chair of the doctors union the British Medical Association says his members would welcome a debate as demand for services is “outstripping the resources available” and says the next Welsh Government or Health Boards need to be explicit about what is or isn’t provided.
He was speaking to me for tonight’s Sharp End on ITV Wales.
Dr Banfield says this does tie in with Mark Drakeford’s prudent healthcare agenda but goes a step further.
What is Prudent Healthcare? Mark Drakeford has pursued the prudent heathcare for the last few years.
It’s defined as
- Care for those with the greatest health need first, making the most effective use of all skills and resources
- Do only what is needed, no more, no less; and do no harm
- Reduce inappropriate variation using evidence based practices consistently and transparently.
Phil Banfield wants the public, politicians and health service to be engaged in this debate. Rationing is an emotive term, but it’s one he stands by
Carwyn Jones says he wants a different approach, saying rationing is the wrong term.
Whatever terms you are couching it in, rationing is what it boils down to. That doesn’t necessarily need to have a negative connotation if the public, the service and the politicians agree fundamentally on what is provided and not provided within a certain amount of money.”
– Dr Phil Banfield, Chair BMA in Wales