Professor Allyson Pollock is assistant principal for International Health Policy and director of the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University.
You would expect such to know what she is talking about. Sadly not:
Take for example the costs of the new market bureaucracy; for more than 40 years administration costs were in the order of 6% of the total budget a year, they doubled overnight to 12% in 1991 with the introduction of the internal market. We have no data today for England, but what we know from the US is that the introduction of for-profit providers increases administrative costs to the order of 30% or more.
The 30% figure for admin costs for for profit providers includes the cost of raising the money through insurance premiums in the first place. The admin costs for the NHS do not include the cost of raising the funds to pay for the NHS. That is buried in the tax system.
There are deadweight costs associated with any tax. No, this isn\’t the cost of actually raising the tax, the admin burden of checking tax returns. This is the opportunity cost of what people would have done with the money otherwise if they hadn\’t been taxed. As a general rule of thumb it\’s 20% of the amount raised in tax. A more accurate figure for marginal rates (calculated from US marginal rates, sorry, no numbers for the UK that I know of) are that deadweight losses at current tax rates are more like 33%.
If that is true (I don\’t insist it is, although I do insist that the basic point about deadweight costs of taxation stands) then the NHS admin costs, on a like for like basis, are higher than a private insurance system.
You would think that a senior academic on health care would know such things and either she does but she deliberately doesn\’t tell us or she doesn\’t and is ignorant of the subject upon which she speaks. Either way the cow can fuck off.
Then there are all the other contracted out services including the pharmaceutical bill of £14bn.
Err, that\’s the total NHS drug bill. You know, all that money that goes to Glaxo, Pfizer and the like. She\’s seriously suggesting that drug development and manufacturing should be brought within the NHS?
Where do The Guardian find these numpties?