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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2002): National Health Service - Funding

BEWARE THE BACKLASH

D. Walker

Guardian, Apr. 17th 2002, p. 15

Warns that if the government fails to delivery improvements in the NHS following a massive increase in public investment financed by higher taxation, the middle classes may revolt at the next election.

BROWN USES GENETICS FEARS TO MAKE CASE FOR NHS

B. Groom and N. Timmins

Financial Times, Apr. 10th 2002, p. 2

The Chancellor of the Exchequer believes that people with a genetic susceptibility to particular illnesses could face difficulties in obtaining private medical insurance. He is using fear of the impact of genetic testing to support continued funding of the NHS out of general taxation.

DRUG FIRMS RAIDED BY POLICE IN NHS PRICE-FIXING INQUIRY

J. Bennetto and S. Foley

Independent, Apr. 11th 2002, p. 6

Reports that the Serious Fraud Office is investigating allegations that drug companies have colluded to keep penicillin-based antibiotics and warfarin at an artificially high price for four years, costing the NHS millions of pounds.

(See also Guardian, Apr. 11th 2002, p. 6; Times, Apr. 11th 2002, p. 4; Financial Times, Apr. 11th 2002, p.1; Daily Telegraph, Apr. 11th 2002, p.4)

HEALTH SERVICE FACES TOUGHER AUDITING REGIME

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Apr. 8th 2002, p.2

A tough new audit and inspection system for the National Health Service is to be announced by Gordon Brown, the chancellor, to go with the extra pounds the government plans to pour into it. This is intended to reassure both public and government that higher spending will deliver results.

HOME TRUTHS FOR BROWN ON NHS NORTH OF BORDER

N. Hawkes

The Times, Apr. 15th 2002, p. 4

On current spending plans Scotland is set to become top European nation for spending on health. Scotland has more doctors, nurses and hospital beds per person . and the worst health record in Europe.

INDEBTED TO THE PAST

J. Appleby, C. Deeming and A. Harrison

Public Finance, Apr. 5th - 11th 2002, p. 22-23

Article discusses problems arising from accumulated financial deficits in the English NHS. In spite of growth in the size of the deficit, the Department of Health is taking a relaxed attitude to it. Authors express concern that money to service these debts may eventually have to be diverted from patient care.

MILBURN ENDORSES PAY BILL EATING UP NHS'S EXTRA CASH

S. Boseley

The Guardian, March 28th 2002, p. 12

Two-fifths of new money put into the NHS this financial year has been spent on pay rises for existing staff, the Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, said yesterday.

THE NEXT GENERATION

S. Ward

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Apr. 18th 2002, p. 39-41

Describes how the NHS has learned to work closely with private partners in PFI schemes in specification of requirements, life cycle costing of the facility, and capacity planning.

NHS SURGEONS CASH IN ON WAITING LISTS CRISIS

S. Boseley

Guardian, Mar. 19th 2002, p. 6

Reports that surgeons are charging the NHS premium rates for taking on extra operations at week-ends as part of the drive to bring waiting lists down. If their demands are met, the bill for reducing waiting lists will be hugely inflated.

(See also Financial Times, Mar. 19th 2002, p. 1)

OFF LIMITS

N. Dudley

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Apr. 11th 2002, p. 28-32

NHS trust remuneration committees are paying chief executives above the limits recommended in Department of Health guidance. In doing so they are ignoring the government's stated policy of fair pay for all in the NHS and their duty of accountability. Excessive awards made by a remuneration committee can be subject to judicial review and overturned. The Health Secretary should review the workings of trust remuneration committees and ensure that their decisions are transparent to the public.

SECURING OUR FUTURE HELATH: TAKING A LONG TERM VIEW

D. Wanless

London: Treasury, 2002

Report found that public investment in the NHS would have to rise to up to £184bn a year by 2022 to enable it to offer a world class service. Spending on new technology should double and the money should be ring-fenced. IT systems should be compatible across the NHS. Consideration should be given to charging patients for non-clinical extras like TVs and for missed appointments. Financial incentives should be used to prevent bed-blocking and encourage authorities to move patients to more suitable accommodation. The work of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence should be extended to consider the effectiveness of existing as well as new treatments. There should be regular, rigorous and independent audits of all health spending with maximum publicity.

TAXES MUST RISE TO PAY FOR NHS, WARNS BROWN

G. Jones

Daily Telegraph, Mar. 21st 2002, p. 6

Gordon Brown has ruled out user charges, private insurance or social insurance as funding mechanisms for the NHS. He has re-iterated his support for healthcare to be funded out of general taxation and has warned that taxes may have to rise to provide extra money for the NHS. He is understood to be considering raising National Insurance contributions to provide extra resources for the NHS. He has warned other spending departments that their budgets may be cut to provide extra money for the NHS.

(See also Times, Mar. 21st 2002, p. 13; Financial Times, Mar. 21st 2002, p. 4; Guardian Mar. 21st 2002, p. 4)

THIS WON'T BE A BUDGET FOR YOU, BUT FOR LABOUR'S HUNGRY BACK BENCHERS

M. Brown

Independent, Apr. 17th 2002, p. 16

It is widely anticipated that Gordon Brown will massively raise taxes to fund investment in the NHS. Author suggests that his motive is to win the support of Labour backbenchers for a future leadership bid.

TORIES CONFIRM PLAN FOR MORE PRIVATE CASH IN NHS

M. White

The Guardian, April 15th 2002, p. 5

Iain Duncan Smith yesterday confirmed that a Conservative government could radically change the way the national heath service is financed and organised by injecting much more private cash into the system.

TRUST CHIEF ENVISAGES BRIGHT FUTURE IF CASH IS CHANNELLED PROPERLY

S. Boseley

The Guardian, April 19th 2002, p. 4

The largest single NHS building project ever is the £421m, 800-bed University College Hospital project that will replace four existing hospitals. It is a private finance initiative, with the government providing £100m. Though the new hospital will save time and money by concentrating patients and staff in one place, it will provide no more beds than those it is replacing.

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