More money needed… lets pour a little more into the holed bucket – and reduce the quality of care by rationing new treatments

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…

Image result for hole in bucked cash

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..

Chris Smyth reports in the Times 19th Jan 2017 : Fifth of new medicines to be rationed – NHS cost-cutting raises fears for patient safety

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.

Image result for hole in bucked cash

Going bust when it’s not allowed – all English Regions bar one.. The knee jerk response has yet to happen, as has the “honest debate”.

What is going to be excluded Mrs May? Please don’t be tempted by a knee jerk response..


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Good News, 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s