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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2000): National Health Services - Funding

BEYOND COMPARE

C. Inglesias and D. Targerson

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, July 6th 2000, p. 35

Argues that government plans to increase spending on health to European levels may be unnecessary. It can be proved that the NHS is more efficient in delivering healthcare than the private sector, and therefore the UK should always spend less on health than countries with a larger private sector or insurance based provision. The former encourages doctors to provide unnecessary tests and treatments, and the latter encourages patients to consume as much as possible at the highest possible cost.

CASH REWARD SCHEME FOR 'GOOD' HOSPITALS

A. Grice

Independent, July 12th 2000, p. 1 + 10

Reports government plans to reward efficient hospitals with extra cash to allow them to expand their services. Poorly performing hospitals would receive help from intervention teams made up of successful NHS managers or the private sector. NHS reforms will also include merger of local authority social services departments with the NHS to form 'supertrusts' and an expansion of the use of IT.

DISPELLING WORCESTER'S HEALTH MYTHS

M. Ridley

Public Finance, June 30th - July 6th, 2000, p. 20-21

Argues against critics who allege that use of PFI funding to build a new hospital in Worcester will exacerbate the Health Authority's financial deficits and lead to a reduction in acute beds.

DOCTORS AND NURSES GET RISE IN PAY AND BONUSES

J. Laurance

Independent, July 31st 2000, p. 8

Measures to be introduced include bonuses for staff "who work hardest for the NHS" new "market forces supplements" to attract staff to work in less popular areas, and an overhaul of the merit award system for hospital consultants.

FIRST CLEAR YOUR DEBTS, MILBURN TELL NHS

S. Ward

Public Finance, Aug. 11th - 24th 2000, p. 11

The Health Secretary requires health authorities and trusts in England to pay off their accumulated debts by the end of financial year 2000/01, but has refused to ring fence cash to help them do it.

MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE PAY-OUTS DOUBLE IN THREE YEARS

C. Gray

Independent, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 2

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) which represents doctors in negligence claims, paid out a record 77m in compensation in 1999, almost double the 41m distributed in 1996. The Union blamed soaring costs on more patients resorting to the courts and a trend towards higher awards rather than falling standards among doctors.

(See also Guardian, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 3; Times, Aug. 7th 2000, p. 4)

PRIVATE SECTOR MAY HAVE TO PAY WHEN PATIENTS TRANSFER TO NHS

T. Shifrin

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Aug. 24th 2000, p. 6-7

The new concordat being drawn up between the NHS and the private sector could allow the former to reclaim the costs of providing emergency treatment for patients transferred from private facilities.

THE REAL COST OF PFI IN WORCESTER

A. Pollock, D. Price and M. Dunnigan

Public Finance, July 14th - 20th 2000, p. 26

Argues that Worcester's PFI hospital project will adversely affect services, despite the Health Authority's recent rebuttal of their views.

SOLD ON HEALTH: MODERNISING PROCUREMENT, OPERATION AND DISPOSAL OF THE NHS ESTATE

Department of Health and Public Services Productivity Panel.

Leeds: NHS Estates, 2000

Proposes that the NHS land and property portfolio should be run by a national framework. Says that NHS Estates should take charge of all land sales, and that there should be a radical overhaul of capital procurement, including a pilot of an NHS development agency and specialist procurement teams. Estimates that the NHS has 900m of surplus land and assets.

WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE TROUBLE

R. Lewis and S. Gillam

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, July 27th 2000, p. 28-30

The long-standing system of paying GPs through a complex system of fees and allowances is under review. The proposed expansion of personal medical services pilots and an increase in the number of salaried GPs could destabilise the current system and lead to perverse outcomes. The introduction of a weighted capitation system allocating resources to health authorities and primary care trusts according to need might ensure equitable distribution of funds.

YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE

P. Butler

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Aug. 17th 2000, p. 16-17

While the NHS is making ever-increasing demands on voluntary sector providers of palliative services, it is, at the same time, reducing its overall contribution to annual hospice running costs. Combined with a squeeze on charitable giving caused by the introduction of the national lottery, this is causing the hospice movement to run out of funds.

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