One thought on “So, you vote Conservative …

  1. Estimates of the cost of having an NHS “Market” vary between £4.5BN and £30BN PER YEAR – just an overhead for the administration of the “market”, not spent on any actual healthcare. A Parliamentary Committee said in 2010 that the costs of the “market” were 14% of the NHS budget = £10BN per year (which they noted was more than the cost of funding every GP in the UK – yes, under the Conservative “market” dogma we actually spend more on administering healthcare contracts than we do on providing GP services).

    And this is just the cost to the NHS to manage contracts – you should expect this to be matched by costs incurred by the health service providers that they contract who have to bid for and manage their side of the contract.

    So the real costs could easily be £9BN – £60BN PER YEAR, or possibly even more.

    And in case you are wondering whether these are typos – yes, I really do mean £BILLIONS not £millions and I do mean PER YEAR.

    To put this in context, the money needed by NHS and Social Care to pay for the NHS that we actually need is c £4bn – £5bn per year. So the nice way of looking at this is that if we scrap the NHS market, we would be able to fund fully both the NHS and Social Care, and possibly have some left over to fund police and armed services and prisons and road maintenance. The not so nice way of putting this is that the Conservative Party dogma that everything has to be market driven has deliberately diverted £4.5bn – £60bn per year from front line Health and Social Care into needless administration, and all the pain and suffering and avoidable deaths in the NHS and Social Care systems, and the pain a lot of us have felt from the austerity cuts, were a direct result of this deliberate choice.

    Here are the links to my sources:

    Summary: “The billions of wasted NHS cash no-one wants to mention”

    Parliamentary Health Select Committee: “NHS spends 14% of budget on management, MPs reveal” “The government tried to suppress the 14% figure, which was in a York University report it commissioned then refused to publish for 5 years. The York study found that ‘market’ mechanisms like “the purchaser-provider split, private finance, national tariffs…mean…transactions costs of providing care have increased, and may continue to increase.”

    Lib Dems: “But markets mean drafting contracts, handling the tendering process, justifying decisions – in the courts if necessary: and raising, paying and contesting bills. Countries where there is market competition in healthcare spend between 20% and 40% of their healthcare expenditure on administration. Before Margaret Thatcher introduced the internal market in the NHS the UK spent only 5% on administration.” which according to amounts to £30bn per year.

    National Health Action Party: “£10bn a year could be saved by ending the market in the English NHS”

    The Centre of Health & the Public Interest: ‘conservative’ £4.5billion a year

    If you want to try to find official Government figures for the costs of administration, good luck to you. The Government has suppressed the York University Report it commissioned and refused to commission any other studies.


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