Monday, January 9

Subsidising the NHS

The following letter appeared in last friday's edition of The Telegraph.

How private medicine can subsidise the NHS

Sir - In your report of David Cameron's health proposals (News, January 4), you say the previous Tory policy was to "subsidise operations in the private sector".

The opposite was the case. The NHS could not, despite decades of taxes from millions of Britons, perform operations within a reasonable period.

The Tory policy therefore was to allow the private sector to carry out those operations, with a contribution from the NHS far lower than the cost to the NHS had it carried out the operation itself.

The patients would have been treated immediately; the NHS would have saved 40 per cent of the cost of the operation.

It would have had free capacity to reduce its waiting list while the private sector could have used its spare capacity - built up without taxpayers' money.

In other words, the private sector would have subsidised the state sector.

Given the ineptitude of the only healthcare system in the world that no other country has adopted, the Tory policy was the most rational thing they could have proposed. Now even that has been dismissed by Mr Cameron.

Rodney Atkinson, Stocksfield, Northumberland

A very good point Rodney.

One wonders what the boy-king and his chums have to say ?

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