Monday, 13 February 2017

The NHS is not unaffordable, it's being starved

In this post we blow apart the MYTH that the NHS is 'unaffordable' noting the real reason for the current NHS crisis is under-funding to allow privatisation...

Last September [2016], the Office for Budget Responsibility [OBR] stated the NHS is easily affordable up to and beyond 2030.

Current Spending to fall under Tory Government

----- The NHS is not unaffordable, it's being starved ------

■ MYTH: We need to change since we can't afford the NHS in its present form.

■ FACT: the fallacy of the NHS being unaffordable has been debunked by all major health think tanks such as Nuffield trust & King's Fund along with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and other economists. A recent report from the OBR shows the NHS is easily affordable up to and beyond 2030.

The OBR figures show that the UK currently spends 7.4% of its GDP on healthcare, which is set to fall to 6.9% by 2020 under the current Tory government funding settlement. The health select committee have already shown that the £10b funding set aside to aid roll-out of Hunts NHS reforms (STPs) is less than half of what is needed to properly fund the NHS; indicating the real intention is to starve the NHS to meet privatisation requirements set up with Andrew  Lansley's Health & Social Care Act 2012 (the privatisation act).

The OBR figures show that this amount could easily increase to 8.8% by 2030 - evidently without an increase in general taxation. Appleby stated the 8.8% increase in spending is actually lower than the long-term growth in NHS spending. Average spend since 1954 is 4% a year, whereas an increase to 8.8% by 2030 would represent a growth of less than 0.1% a year.
So the irony is, even if we're at an 8.8% spend in 2030, the UK will still be at the same spending levels France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Japan were  back in 2015 !
Prof. Appleby said “The real debate the UK needs to have is over how much more we want to spend on the NHS, not whether we need to change the way the health service is funded.”

The wish to move to a radically different model of health care is purely political ideology - what many now know as denationalisation of the NHS as Jeremy Hunt espoused in his co-authored booklet titled 'Direct Democracy'.

Finally, we're all aware that the Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs) are being rolled-out by the ex vice president of the U.S. private insurance firm UnitedHealth, and the models of care being proposed for England, such as 'Accountable Care Organisations' are based on the U.S. private insurance models.

So to conclude, I've included a health spend comparison table below showing that even though the UK spends less than the other countries shown, it comes out on top for efficiency, affordability (equity), access to care and outcomes. The USA on the other hand comes an abysmal bottom with the greatest spend and the worst outcomes.

Yet this Tory government want England to move to the failed U.S. model that most American citizens can't afford. And all for their Tory egotistical ideology and historical wishes of denationalising the NHS.  If that doesn't put the fight back in you, then reality hasn't hit home yet of what's happening to our NHS. This is a wake up call, a call to arms to save the NHS before it's too late.

References & related links

Nuffield Trust: New OBS figures show NHS ‘is still affordable’ [26.9.2016]

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