The state is not able to keep up with the advance of technology. This means we HAVE to ration care. It’s just a choice of rationing covertly and differently by post code/region, or doing it overtly. Our cowardly political masters know this, but refuse to speak out. The media thinks health is too complex for a sustained debate that their readers will appreciate. So, in a media led society, it won’t happen.
HI-TECH ADVANCES HIT NHS FUNDING
Nye Bevan did not foresee, and your leader neglects, the effects of medical advances on both NHS funding requirements and patient demand (“Higher tax is not the only solution to an ailing NHS”, Editorial, last week).
New investigations and treatments create “wants”, which change to “needs” as they become familiar. Such advances have been dramatic and are often expensive: if they extend life beyond what was previously possible, patients survive to require more clinical management for longer. Thus the costs are not limited to the treatments themselves, but to the longevity they facilitate.
No country, whatever its healthcare model, can provide the funding that could potentially be absorbed as technology advances. We have to recognise this and use funding wisely. A mature debate is long overdue.
Dr Vernon Needham, provost, Wessex Faculty, Royal College of General Practitioners
Your editorial is correct. Huge sums are being wasted through the present complex system of commissioning healthcare. The internal market process has been estimated to consume 14% of the total NHS budget and has not been shown to improve outcomes.
About 200 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), each with its own infrastructure, have to negotiate with multiple providers. Recent changes were meant to reduce bureaucracy, but my experience on the governing body of a CCG leads me to believe the opposite has happened. The system is divisive and wasteful.
Professor Robert Elkeles, Northwood, London
A bus-load of cash awaits
It shouldn’t be difficult to find more funds for the NHS. As those of us who followed the EU referendum can attest, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove know where to find an extra £350m a week.
Stephen Ball, Littleborough, Greater Manchester