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Hospital scans and operations will be carried out at weekends and evenings under Labour plans to get the NHS “working around the clock”.

Doctors will be paid overtime to work the extra hours under the plan announced by Sir Keir Starmer to clear the backlog, to be funded by abolishing the non-dom tax status.

It’s not, wholly and entirely, obvious that abolishing non-dom status will raise any net revenue. Enough might leave that it’s a net drain in fact.

But isn’t it lovely, the other idea? That operating theatres, all those expensive scanners, billions of £’s worth, currently don’t get used on weekends? For the convenience of the staff, obvs.

26 thoughts on “Hmm”

  1. There are any number of reasons to remove non-domicile taxation from the statute books, but to “raise money for the treasury” probably ain’t one. More likely it will lower revenues because those attracted by the current non-domicile regime (like Rishi Sunak’s wife) will go elsewhere.

  2. Empty operating theatres and billion pound scanners are of limited use when the wards are chock-full of the elderly abandoned by their families along with recent arrivals shunted to the head of the queue for non-essential procedures. The comment on here a week or so back about immigrant reception staff in a GP surgery prioritising their fellow countrymen, which apparently was fully justified if the Immigrant Health Surcharge had been paid, will remain in my mind for a long time.

  3. The hospitals in Cambridge already do some work at weekends – I’ve had quite a few Saturday or Sunday appointments for ultrasound or CT scans as an outpatient. Conversely, it’s rare to see a doctor on the wards over the weekend.

    Optimal use of kit like scanners would mean 7×24 working, but I doubt whether most people would like an appointment at 3 am.

  4. If Rishi’s wife goes elsewhere & takes Rishi with her, what’s not to like? One could take a favourable view of any legislation achieves that.

  5. Optimal use of kit like scanners would mean 7×24 working, but I doubt whether most people would like an appointment at 3 am.

    When your choice of appointment is either: a) 3am next tuesday; or b) 2pm, on 13/11/2028, then I expect some people would happily take option a).

  6. My local healtn authority already runs weekend and out of hours scans and Xrays. No messing: straight in, zap, straight out. And their hospitals are bloody useless so it can’t exactly be too hard.

    The elderly go into hospital and are then pumped full of opioids to keep them quiet and it rapidly becomes a vicious circle because they are now dependent and cannot be released.

    Final rant – the NHS would have far fewer problems with people not turning up to appointments if a) they actually asked the patient first whether they wanted one and (b) took no for an answer and stopped issuing when the patient has cancelled them

  7. It really won’t be that difficult to plan around the removal of non-Dom status.

    Non-Dom status means (simplistically) that income arising outside the UK to someone tax resident in the UK won’t be taxed if they don’t bring that income into the UK. So, say, Mrs Sunak holds shares in an Indian trading company on which dividends are paid. OK, transfer those shares to a personal company situated in India which is owned by Mrs Sunak. The trading company is now paying dividends to an Indian based personal company. She leaves it there. She now isn’t being paid those dividends personally. She can allow to funds to accumulate.

    OK, I don’t know what the tax rules are out in India so it might need some tweaking out there. But she no longer has any income which could be taxed in the UK.

    That took more time to write than it did to plan.

    Labour are deluded if they think wealthy people are going to sit there and pay tax they don’t have to.

    But they will have already spent the money they assume they are going to get.

  8. Andrew C

    And this is the problem that the likes of Murphy face – people simply aren’t going to sit there and allow themselves to be taxed if they don’t have to. And they are much smarter than he is (or can employ people much smarter than him which the unkind might say is simply by going to the average high street bookies and asking the first punter they find) which is why his claims that he had found measures that would raise billions in perpetuity were so wrong even if he was talking about North Korean won.

    On a separate note Tim – not sure if you saw this but may explain Spud’s increasingly frantic seeking of ‘Danegeld’ from any source.

  9. Sorry – spud on the brain. I doubt the healthcare unions will be up for this and it will be swallowed up in bureaucracy. The notion we ‘don’t pay enough’ for the NHS is a risible one

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    Another who’s recently had a Saturday afternoon MRI scan.

    On bed blocking, I had a complication with a prostate biopsy and had to spend a couple of nights in hospital with a catheter inserted. About 8am on a Saturday morning the consultant said I was OK to go if I gave three blood free urine samples after the catheter was removed.

    Given we’re always told there’s a bed shortage you’d think they’d have been on me like a shot. I had to nag to get the catheter removed and that didn’t happen until gone 10. I then had to find a nurse and get them to test my samples. I gave the 3rd one about 1pm but didn’t get discharged until gone 4pm.

  11. With usual Labour foresight and understanding, doctors are not the whole picture.

    Where will the operating room technicians, nurses, radiographers, lab technicians, porters, admin, cleaning, catering and all the other support staff come from – and at one cost?

    It will also require a shift system. Not everyone wants to work shifts, and a shift system needs more people as each shift requires the same staffing levels.

  12. I don’t understand this non-dom malarky. When I lived in Hong Kong I didn’t pay Hong Kong tax on my UK property income, I paid, naturally, UK tax on my UK income and HK tax on my HK income.

  13. I can’t believe the NHS doesn’t perform imaging procedures on weekends – that’s ridiculously inefficient.

    It’s not even a physician issue – Radiologists (of all flavors) typically work during roughly normal hours (7-7), so after-hours studies are not read until the next morning. The exception is ED situations (midnight car accident), and they’re just wet-read by someone in another time zone.

    Some procedures would be required to be done whilst Radiologist is in-person, but that’s just simple scheduling. Radiology is the cash-cow in US healthcare. Incentives etc etc.

  14. The NHS (well, Bouygues, the contractor) built a Proton Beam Therapy unit in central London. At 300 million it was only two times over budget. The reason for the cost was digging a five storey deep hole next to two underground railway lines, whose vibrations had to be insulated to allow the beam to be focused with millimetric precision.
    Meanwhile, Nuffield Health had two sites (Somerset and Wales IIRC) with the same machines, and when Nuffield went bust these were offered to the NHS by the receivers at the usual knock down price. NHS said no thanks.

  15. The operating theatres are (often, but not all) under-utilised at weekends because of an abject lack of staff of all types to run them. If we can barely scrape enough together to run them during the week, it’s not obvious that running them at the weekend should be a priority.

  16. From just over 3 years ago:-

    Despite the Nightingales being hailed by government ministers, who emphasised the role of army field planners in helping to build the flagship facility in east London from scratch over nine days, they have not been without problems. Dozens of patients with Covid-19 were turned away in London because the Nightingale hospital had too few nurses to treat them.

    “Not without problems” would be a considerable understatement. I wonder how much that poorly thought out project cost the taxpayer?

  17. Well Gasman that is really a reflection on how the NHS is run.

    It is not mandatory to have Diversity Managers or someone to go around telling peoplethat they aren’t allowed to smoke in the car parks.

    Moreover if they applied some proper management thinking to this problem it would not be too hard to solve. Nurses work 3×12 hour shifts then have three days off. The biggest myth in any Health Service is the Junior Doctor 48 hour shift. They are on call during the 48 hours but can spend all the rest of the time in bed or watching telly, when not treating patients. They aren’t “at the coalface” all that time.

    Also it doesn’t have to be 24×7 but 16×6 would probably fix any backlog.

  18. “I wonder how much that poorly thought out project cost the taxpayer?”

    John is right.

    The poorly thought out project really started in 1948. This was just another unachievable milestone in the Gantt Chart of Despair.

  19. Being turned away from a Nightingale hospital probably saved a thousand lives. Many deaths from “covid” were attributable to inappropriate treatment.

  20. Aren’t GP’s already in short supply because no one wants to work the hours and deal with the NHS?

    How are they gonna get anyone to work overtime?

  21. Being turned away from a Nightingale hospital probably saved a thousand lives. Many deaths from “covid” were attributable to inappropriate treatment.

    I doubt if m’learned friends will go anywhere near that aspect during their multi million pound taxpayer funded whitewash – sorry I mean enquiry.

  22. The last time I had an MRI it was at 1am in the morning, scheduled appointment and it took 4 weeks from referral to scan, obviously I’m not in U.K.
    To the point above if you are offered 1am in a couple of weeks or normal hours in 3 months you take the 1am

  23. It is certainly true that the current tax regime is unfair with regard to non-dom status. Just not in the way campaigners claim. As we know from previous campaigns about companies such as Amazon and Starbucks, tax should be raised where the economic activity occurs. And that means that a UK resident who owns shares in an Indian company should pay tax on dividends and capital gain in India, not the UK. If they own a house in France that they let out, they should pay tax on profits and capital gain in France, not the UK. If they go on holiday and work abroad, they should pay the local tax there, and not in the UK.

    This is mostly what non-dom status means (not exactly, as UK tax is still paid on money brought into the UK). So tax fairness says non-dom status should be abolished by granting all the benefits (and more) to every UK resident.

    But since so many campaigning on what they claim is tax fairness are really campaigning on behalf of greed, don’t expect many to campaign for actual fairness.

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