The bucket of money for health spending has many holes in it, and the rate at which it leaks out the bottom, even with covert rationing is faster than we can print/put money in. Headlines such as Oliver Moody in the Times 18th Jan 2017: Extra £156 billion needed for healthcare, and 2 years earlier from Dennis Campbell in the Guardian: NHS will need extra £65bn by 2030, say analysts – Health Foundation says service is unlikely to meet unrealistic productivity targets and may have to ration access to treatment, show the inflationary nature of health costs. The OBR is rightly part of the department of justice…… The injustice of covert rationing is becoming evident. The good news is that rationing of new drugs is overt…
The text of the Times article explains just how irresponsible the politicians are in their denial is:
Britain’s public finances are on an “unsustainable path” with an ageing population and the rising cost of healthcare, a watchdog warned.
A 50-year forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said that chancellors would need to raise taxes or cut spending if the government were to stand any chance of fulfilling its pledge to balance Britain’s finances. It said an extra £156 billion would have to be found by 2066-67 to fund the gap in healthcare costs.
The OBR said that spending on both the NHS and the state pension were due to rise faster than economic growth and that, without policy action, public sector net debt would surge from 82 per cent of gross domestic product to 234 per cent in 50 years’ time.
Government borrowing would rise to 16.6 per cent of GDP and the annual budget deficit would widen from 0.7 per cent of GDP in 2021-22 to 1.8 per cent by 2025-26.
“Rising healthcare costs could make it harder for the chancellor to balance the budget in the next parliament and put the public finances on an unsustainable path over the longer term in the absence of further tax increases or cuts in other public spending,” it said.
Rosemary Bennett reports on a “little finger in one bucket hole” (social care) attempt: Tory council plans tax hike to fund social care as Surrey County Council does it’s best within the current rules of the game. It won’t be enough..
This is the type of “knee jerk” response which is irrational and which NHSreality has warned about. As new drugs come on line they are usually delayed in NICE approval until their patent has nearly expired. This was covert and unplanned. Now the announcement in the headline above makes it overt, but it denies British citizens access to drugs which other countries will have. Private Medical demand will increase, as will inequalities. A two tier system emerges by default, which increases fear in those excluded. One answer is to ration at the cheap high volume end of care, which encourages self reliance and autonomy.