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Politics corner

NHS financial crisis. What’s the answer?

Using the current financial crisis as an excuse to call for co-payments and insurance for the NHS will lead to a two tier system, says NHA’s Dr Clive Peedell


“It’s very worrying that David Bennett, until just over a week ago head of Monitor, has said that the NHS needs ‘other sources’ of revenue” says Dr Clive Peedell. “This clearly reveals that he is not a believer in a publicly funded NHS.

The National Health Action party has been calling attention to this very predictable financial crisis for the last three years. Private insurance schemes, social insurance models and co-payment are not the answer. This is a political choice. Do we want money to pay for comprehensive, universal patient care – the NHS as we know it – or to pay for endless private management consultants, lawyers and accountants to manage the huge bureaucracy of running a market driven, competitive private/public mix with a reduced service unless you can pay?

The choice is this simple: pay through public funding and maximise the effort to provide a truly equitable high quality service for everyone, or introduce co-payments and insurance which will provide a two tier service here, as it does wherever else it exists, and greatly increases management costs.

Public spending on health boosts the economy through strong fiscal multiplier effects such as stimulating local economies and keeping the workforce healthy. These effects will be diminished with increasing privatisation because the burden of the cost of healthcare become increasingly passed on from the wealthiest in the country to those on middle and lower incomes. This simply drives more wealth and health inequality. “

Published on behalf of National Health Action Party

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