Monday, January 22, 2007

New Conservative policy on the NHS

Well, David Cameron has announced a policy on the NHS. You can read the statement here.

It sounds a lot like fundholding GP's. This was a policy brought in under the previous Conservative Government. Labour criticised it for a number of reasons including claiming it led to a postcode lottery, and *cough* would cause unnecessary bureaucracy!

The fact is that where ever you go in the land, your postcode decides how hard you will have to fight for certain types of treatments if you can get them at all. As for bureaucracy, doctors are now more than ever snowed under with pointless bits of paper.

Labour ended fundholding GP's in 1999. Then they put lots more money into the NHS. If you actually look at productivity growth in the NHS, it was good up until 1999, when it collapsed.

The other thing that the Conservative party will do is stop all the minute target setting nonsense this government go in for, and just leave the one, looking at patient outcomes. Seems far more sensible to me.

One of the biggest problems in the NHS is that it is perceived as being free, so if you don't get good service, well tough luck. It isn't. By giving GP's the funds they look after their patients. If the GP doesn't, then the patient can take their slice of the money elsewhere.

Update 16:46

The BBC has this on the announcement.


ChrisD said...

Must admit that was what I thought when I first read it today, and if it is great.
It was really starting to take off and it worked, a GP friend of mine was really annoyed when Labour got rid of it. He could not believe that they were going to ditch something that was successfully doing what it said on the tin.

Benedict White said...

Yes ChrisD, and if you look at NHS performance, before during and since it seemed to work.

I feel sorry for your GP friend, he obviously is delusional if he thought Nu Lab had any handle on what was and was not useful ;)

That said, email him this article and get him to pass it around his proffessional circles. Could get something going!

ChrisD said...

Benedict, it really was utterly stupid because the conservatives were actually putting in some good reforms in the NHS and they were working, it just needed more investment.
We have had 10 years of this governments social experiment on pouring money down a drain and we will be paying for the financial hangover left by Labour for years to come.