BBC News reports 28th October 2016: NHS set to miss target on foreign patient costs whilst the Oxford Mail is more dramatic: NHS ‘hundreds of millions of pounds short’ regaining cash from overseas patients. As NHSreality has opined in the previous posts on this subject, there is no incentive for staff to ensure patients are charged correctly. Indeed, there is a bureaucratic disincentive with form filling and handling of money safely…..
.A wise government facing the multiple threats of Brexit would strive in every way to mitigate its worst effects. The chancellor dashes to Wall Street today to try to calm markets as the pound falls again and future investment to Britain is in jeopardy: the idea of Philip Hammond on a “charm offensive” may be a tad improbable – but at least he’s trying.
Not so the prime minister, home secretary and health secretary: in a hole, they keep digging…
….Hunt’s claim that we will be “self-sufficient” in medical staff is nonsense – and he knows it. These new doctors won’t qualify as consultants until 2030, while everywhere has ageing populations and the World Health Organisation estimates a global shortage of 2 million doctors. The number of people in Britain over the age of 85 will double by 2037 – and who is to care for them if we chase away all foreigners?
Hunt is right to oblige British-born doctors to pay back with four years’ service to the NHS – but that’s not enough. And it’s only necessary because of all he has done to alienate junior doctors instead of wooing them to stay for life. Treasuring them, begging them not to depart for easier work in Australia would be economic prudence. Scaring away the foreign-born doctors will do untold damage.
The NHS has lost a decade in progress, returning to where it was 10 years ago in A&E-waiting and ambulance-response times. Waiting lists for operations are at their highest since 2007.
The social care calamity in local government has helped tip the NHS into crisis – a crisis happening right across the UK, where doctors are needed everywhere. Over 60% of care workers in London are foreign-born, mainly from outside the EU, people May could have banished long before Brexit. But the government knows that if it drives out cheap foreign care-labour it will need to pay higher rates with better conditions to attract British-born staff. Good idea, but will they raise the tax to do it?
Paeans of praise poured from the prime minister in her speech on Wednesday, bidding to be the party of the NHS. But she showed no sign of confronting the NHS crisis. Instead, it was a go-home message to invaluable NHS and social care staff. She looks and sounds like a safe pair of hands – but we may find her neither as practical nor as competent as she pretends.
Ironically, many of these imported medics and nurses may not be eligible for free health care after Brexit, until they have worked here for some time!