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

How Excellent, The NHS Pays Private Hospitals

This is a weird thing to be complaining about. The National Health Services goes and buys medical services from private sector providers:

The number of NHS patients having surgery in private hospitals has nearly trebled since 2010, sparking accusations that for-profit companies are benefitting from an “enfeebled” health system under the Conservatives.

NHS figures obtained by the Guardian show that it paid for 214,967 people in England to have an operation in a private hospital in 2009-10, Labour’s last year in power. The figure soared to 613,833 last year, a 185% rise in nine years.

We care that people gain medical care, of course we do. On the grounds of equity we care that it is all of us, as taxpayers, who cover that cost of the medical care for those unfortunates who need it.

OK, actually, I don’t so care and perhaps nor do you. But that’s the general insistence de nos jours. But accept those two insistences for what they are.

Therefore we’re just delighted if people are gaining the health care they need and the taxpayers are picking up the bill, right? Our twin goals are being met, the specific arrangements by which they are doesn’t really matter. Except, obviously, we desire the greatest efficiency in such because we’d like to gain the most health care we can from the resources available.

Which we are doing by shunting simple and repetitive operations off to specialists who do only simple and repetitive operations. Division and specialisation of labour and all that. Factories for hip replacements, not general surgical wards.

Another way to put this. The NHS buys in aspirin and bandages and no one at all suggests they should be making their own. Why not buy in cataract operations as well?

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Mr Yan
Mr Yan
1 year ago

Based on the lies about us paying more for medicine if we buy it from the US (after a trade deal) then I suspect that in Labour there is a hankering to have everything made in the NHS. It could employ everyone in the country like some enormous gulag.

Andrew Carey
Andrew Carey
1 year ago

Spire ( the 2nd biggest private provider in the UK ) has hospitals in the Murrayfield and Shawfair areas of Edinburgh. They have lots of custom from NHS Scotland, but I’m sure that is fine and dandy as surely none of their shareholders are from the United States of America.

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