Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

So Here’s A Nice Lie About The National Health Service

We’re used to lies about the NHS of course – Wonder of the World it is, so much so that no one copied the system. It’s more efficient to have no competition when the NHS is actually worst among rich nation systems at actually curing people – mortality amenable to health care.

But here’s a nice one. We can see what the argument coming down the pike will be. If private fertility clinics cost the NHS money then we should either tax the private fertility clinics, or close them down, to save the NHS.

Except this argument is bollocks, isn’t it?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] Dr Gulam Bahadur, a senior consultant fertility specialist at Homerton University Hospital in east London, who led the study, said: “The people operating these clinics are taking the profits and not paying anything for the mess they are making.” It is the first time the cost burden on the taxpayer of the IVF industry has been revealed to the public. While the clinics charge women to get them pregnant, the NHS then pays for everything else, such as the cost of caring for twins born prematurely, or treating the life-threatening condition of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. “No other industry is allowed to keep its profits and pass on costs to the national budget in this way,” said Bahadur, who will detail his findings at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting in Vienna this month. [/perfectpullquote]

For of course every damn industry in the country does exactly that.

There’s some number of people who are killed by their bedsheets every year – it’s about 400 for the US, so perhaps 50 to 100 here – and we don’t charge linen manufacturers the cost of their autopsies. Vehicular transport kills thousands each year and we’re not charging Jaguar Land Rover the costs of the NHS – actually, given their stonking great loss we’re not charging them any tax this year. If you want to be more precise and exact the rock climbing, surfing, paragliding industries don’t pay a special levy but they pass along the inevitable costs of their accidents to the NHS.

The entire argument is simply colei*, great big dangly ones.

Not that this will stop the attempt to either charge or close down the private fertility clinics. Because, you know, the NHS!


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1 year ago

But the NHS provides services to those naturally concieved. Perhaps it’s necessary to tax thingy. To save the NHS.

Dodgy Geezer
Dodgy Geezer
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat

Ah – you got there a day before I did…. I was also going to talk about the cost of schools, the local public services and defence as being things which this new child would consume. And so we ought to tax the parents for creating this extra consumer – ah, but wait…that’s actually what we do….

Jonathan Harston
Jonathan Harston
1 year ago

Even the NHS itself passes on the costs of its bunglings to the NHS.

1 year ago

Tim often states that the NHS is “so great it has never been copied.” This isn’t quite true: it’s so great that it’s only been copied by Cuba.

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