An article on the BBC News website today reads “NHS accused of bias against private sector“. It claims that NHS trusts are trying to make it harder for the NHS to pay private healthcare companies to treat NHS patients, by:
- Ensuring the NHS hospitals have enough patients before letting the private health firms get their hands on the rest
- Restricting the amount of money the NHS pays for certain operations (e.g. varicose vein surgery) in order to make more money available for other operations (e.g. specialist cancer operations)
- Reducing the amount the NHS is paying for private services that aren’t even being done
- Seeking economic opinions from the experts who have the best overview of healthcare in their area.
- Ensuring that unprofitable areas of the NHS remain open, including essential life-saving care such as A&E.
So why does the article take such a negative view of this? Why does it paint this as unfair?This article begs the question “who wrote the press release?” I think we can safely assume it was the private health firms complaining about their profits. I’m afraid this is lousy drivel by BBC journalist Nick Triggle.
So is this how the future looks? Private health firms launching legal cases against the NHS?
Loud complaints in the media that NHS hospitals should close because it undermines private profits?
“Unfair!” they will shout, “IT’S NOT FAIR!” as they throw themselves to the ground in a toddler tantrum. Meanwhile, the Health Minister will act like an arrogant teenager, scoffing at respected medical journal the Lancet in favour of his own ideology.
BigSocietyNHS thinks we need to stop this unruly behaviour before it gets worse, here’s some tips for how to deal with the complaining private health firms: