Thursday, November 17, 2005


Do you get the logic of that policy? I don't

More than 90 community hospitals are under threat as the NHS in England heads towards nearly £1 billion of debt, according to new research. A survey by the Conservative Party claims 92 local hospitals in England face closure or being substantially scaled back. Further research by the party has shown strategic health authorities in England are forecasting a debt of £997 million by the end of this financial year.

The research by the Tories also warns that the NHS spends £1.3 billion a year more in real terms on administrators than it did in 2000. Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley claimed the Government had supplied more money to the NHS but had lost control of costs. He said: "There is a huge demand for community hospitals and the services they provide. "While choice and vital services are taken away from those in need, the Government wallows in denial. "They have supplied more money to the NHS but lost control of costs. The increase in resources has not been matched with reform, and frontline services are suffering the consequences of this mismanagement."

A Department of Health spokesman denied community hospitals were under threat and dismissed the research on debt as "misleading". He said: "Far from being under threat, NHS community hospital services have a bright future. We are committed to building, rebuilding and refurbishing at least 50 community hospitals as part of a £100 million investment."



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL hospitals and health insurance schemes should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the very poor and minimal regulation. Both Australia and Sweden have large private sector health systems with government reimbursement for privately-provided services so can a purely private system with some level of government reimbursement or insurance for the poor be so hard to do?

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