Wrong question Dobbo

Alan Milburn is wrong – private hospitals have done little for the NHS

We don\’t actually care whether private hospitals are good for the NHS. For the NHS is just a structure, one that exists to perform a task. It\’s the task, how well it is performed, that is the question we should be talking about.

What is the impact of private hospitals on health care?

This is still open to the answer being a lot, a little, positive, negative, but unless we ask the right questions we\’ll never get the right answers.

The NHS doesn\’t matter: what does is how good is the health care we\’re getting for what price?

14 thoughts on “Wrong question Dobbo”

  1. Well, one of the impacts of Private Health Care is that my wife can have the cataract that has developed in her second eye treated.

    The Local Health Board in my part of Wales is no longer financing this particular treatment unless there are exceptional indications. What is more, patients requiring treatment of cataracts in their second eye are no longer even put on a waiting list.
    This is the reality of Health Care in Wales.

    Health care procedures can be classified as :-

    High Demand/High Cost
    High Demand/Low Cost
    Low Demand/ High Cost
    Low Demand/Low Cost

    One would have thought that a Cataract Operation fell into the High Demand/Low cost category or is our health care system in an even worse condition than I thought.

  2. My wife returned from an overseas business trip with a torn retina. Going private means that instead of waiting months while the tear worsens she is operated on in a week.
    Until the NHS is root-and-branch reformed, those who can will go private.

  3. “The NHS doesn’t matter: what does is how good is the health care we’re getting for what price?”

    But for the Dobbos of this world it does, the *structure* – our precious NHS (sigh) – is all.

    What is *does* is less important than what it *is* – the last unreformed remnant of the glorious ’45. Attlee, that is, not the Bonnie Prince. And it must be preserved as the sainted Bevan left it.

  4. We don’t actually care whether private hospitals are good for the NHS

    Actually, on the frontline, we do. Not least given the amount of dribble spouted in favour of privatising key services.

  5. “Actually, on the frontline, we do. ”

    Ok, understandable that the producer cares, but for the rest of us, the potential patients and tax payers, we don’t.

  6. understandable that the producer cares

    I merely report what I see (and I’ve seen a fair bit). If you want to construe that as “producer interest”, fine – save that I also speak as a patient & as a taxpayer.

  7. You may care about the quality of healthcare.
    It seems clear that others have different priotities.

  8. lost_nurse,

    Actually, on the frontline, we do. Not least given the amount of dribble spouted in favour of privatising key services.

    What “dribble”? That raising competition increases value to the customer?

    Try complaining that no-one is taking your medical condition seriously with the NHS and see how far you get. I get more help if I take back something to Tesco.

    And there’s one reason for that, which is that Tesco know I can go elsewhere.

    Now, this doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of good people working in the NHS. There are. The difference with the public sector is that if you choose not to be good then you pretty much can.

  9. Try complaining that no-one is taking your medical condition seriously with the NHS

    I do not defend the NHS as perfect – not by any means. But I see little in the ConDem reforms to indicate that they will improve matters on the ground. Indeed, they have the potential to make things worse. It’s shaping up as a major clusterfcuk – and somebody, somewhere, has to hold the line. Whatever Tim says, we are not being led into the sunny uplands of continental healthcare (still less French/German levels of investment). And whilst politicos chant mantras about choice, competition and “any willing provider”, I’m willing to bet that the actual reality will be very different.

  10. “save that I also speak as a patient & as a taxpayer.”

    Those on the public payroll are not really tax payers. Their wages are paid by the tax payer, and so are their taxes.

  11. Those on the public payroll are not really tax payers

    If we are going to descend to this level of argument, then I’d say the taxpayer has gotten reasonable value out of me. After graduating with a good Oxford degree (and prior to staff nurse training), I spent the best part of a decade as an auxilary nurse – wading through an ocean of blood, shit & vomit for the princely sum of about £6-7 an hour. My choice and I’m glad I did so.

    Of course, I could have just joined a bank and have you bail me out instead.

  12. “, then I’d say the taxpayer has gotten reasonable value out of me.”

    Utterly irrelevant, the point is, those on the public payroll do not pay taxes because their taxes are paid out of the public purse along with their wages.

    “Of course, I could have just joined a bank and have you bail me out instead.”

    I very much doubt it. I have no reason to thing that a nurses skills and those that work for banks are interchangeable.

  13. I very much doubt it

    Is that so?

    Besides, my point was a general one – given the spite directed at public sector workers.

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