Government urged to stop wasting billions of pounds of tax-payers’ money, NHS is ranked as the most cost effective health service
On Thursday, many will have had vague misgivings when the media headlined news of a report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which argued that doctors have an ethical duty to prevent waste in the NHS.
These misgivings will be crystallised for many on reading a statement from NHA co-leader Dr Clive Peedell, responding to the report.
His theme: “If the Association of Medical Royal Colleges is looking to make substantial savings, it should shine a light on the waste created by and presided over by this government”.
Points made by Dr Peedell: government should stop wasting billions of pounds of tax-payers’ money on the NHS internal market, PFI loans, privatisation and creating false economies.
“The market system prevents innovation as hospitals lose income if they provide more efficient treatment: “A good example is the development of the new radiotherapy technique, stereotactic ablative radiotherapy, in the treatment of lung cancer. This allows curative doses of radiation to be delivered in 3 to 5 treatments rather than 20 treatments of conventional radiotherapy. This is much more convenient for the patient and achieves higher cure rates with less side effects. However since hospitals are paid per fraction of radiotherapy, they lose income by offering the treatment . . .
“GPs are also under tremendous pressure not to miss things. A backache could turn out to be spinal cancer. The stakes are high when you’re dealing with a person’s life. So it’s totally understandable why sometimes doctors may order what turns out to be, with hindsight, an unnecessary test. You don’t know it’s unnecessary until you’ve done it”.
A recent widely reported case: http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/wellbeing/students-cold-turned-out-to-be-cancer-11363941859800
Dr Peedell itemises waste created and presided over by this government:
- http://chpi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/At-what-cost-paying-the-price-for-the-market-in-the-English-NHS-by-Calum-Paton.pdf (The Health Select Committee noted that the internal market increased the administration costs of the NHS from 5% in the 1980s to 14% of total NHS budget already by 2005: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmhealth/268/26805.htm – point 37)
- £3 Billion for the cost of the govt’s top down reorganisation (so big it can be seen from outer space, according to the ex-NHS boss): http://rcnpublishing.com/doi/full/10.7748/ns.126.96.36.19947990
- £millions spent on making staff redundant, then re-hiring them, and paying for temporary and agency staff – nearly 4,000 staff made redundant because of HSC Act have since been re-employed. Average payout £43,000: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/mar/17/nhs-staff-redundant-rehired-cheques-confetti
- £5.5billion spent on private agency workers to fill staffing shortage: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-blows-55billion-private-agency-4551944
- £1.6bn spent on NHS manager redundancy payouts since 2010: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jul/26/nhs-managers-redundancy-payments-total
- £billions per year to repay PFI loans. In total, the amount of money to be repaid by NHS trusts will almost double, from around £50 billion in 2005/06, to more than £90 billion by 2013/14: http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/64357/private_finance,_public_deficits.pdf
- £millions spent on spin doctors: http://www.consultant-news.com/article_display.aspx?p=adp&id=11194
- £1 million recently wasted on the tendering process over a contract to supply older people’s healthcare in Cambridgeshire which ended up being awarded to the NHS: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-29439924
He adds: “The NHS has been ranked by the influential Commonwealth Fund as the most cost effective health service. According to the international panel of experts, the UK is top of 11 countries including for efficient use of resources, not to mention being ranked as the best overall health care system in the world. But the government appears set on undermining this”.
Posted on November 9, 2014, in Admirable politician, Conflict of interest, Economy, Finance, Government, Health, Planning, Privatisation, Vested interests and tagged Commonwealth Fund, Dr Clive Peedell, Fiona Codd, NHS, NHS internal market, PFI loans. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.