Is there enough awareness to get away with rationing by exclusion? A two tier system in evolution…

There are so many low cost high volume treatments that could be rationed out by exclusion. From nit treatment to alternative food products. Some of them should go for pragmatic reasons, and some for the encouragement of autonomy. Wales will be the last region to recognise this, and this is the region where Private Medical Insurance ( PMI )will cost more, eventually, as low volume high cost treatments are the only other option. The two tier system will emerge first in Wales as those who can afford it buy choice, either directly or through PMI.

Image result for two tier health cartoon

The Times 3rd June reports: Paracetamol on prescription costs NHS millions

The NHS spent more than £70 million giving paracetamol to patients in England last year despite it being available over the counter at a fraction of the cost.
GPs issued more than 21,740,000 prescriptions at £3.23 per item even though the pills are sold for as little as 19p in shops. The figure, revealed in response to a parliamentary question by Grahame Morris, the Labour MP, shows that the bill fell from £84.86 million in 2015/16 and £86.88 million the year before. Over five years the cost was nearly £400 million.
NHS England has announced plans to develop new national guidelines on prescriptions for medicines such as gluten-free foods and travel vaccines that are available in supermarkets and chemists. Mr Morris said it was irrational to provide paracetamol on prescription. “At a time when the government is placing extreme funding pressure on our health service, we should seek avenues to make savings where they will not affect patient services,” he said. “There will be a number of low-cost readily available drugs which could be supplied in such a manner.”

This entry was posted in A Personal View, 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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