The National Health Service

Where does the money go?

At the recent General Election everyone agreed with Danny Boyle that the NHS was a wonderful thing. There were no major disagreements about the principle. Instead we simply heard how much our politicians loved the health service – how much better it would be because of them and how much worse it would be with the other guy.

But there is one question that interests me, simply because it is never discussed. Is this because we are not aware of it? If gut feel is the mark of a politician, should MPs across the land not be talking about this issue?

What should the NHS pay for? And what is private medical cost?

I’m not talking about cosmetic surgery or gastric bands here.

I think I’m starting a debate which is surely much less controversial.

The following is hypothetical, but illustrates my point.

I have a sore knee.

I go to my GP. She believes that it is a problem that should best be managed with exercise and/or mild analgesic. I think differently and decide to take advantage of my private health cover.

I demand that my GP writes a referral letter to my private consultant.

I have surgery.

I go home. My knee starts to hurt. I am unable to drive. So I am visited by my GP (in our out of hours). I am prescribed medication.

My wound is redressed.

I need remedial surgery.

Can you guess which parts of this are paid for by the NHS?

Answers next week.

Ross Moloney
Managing Director, FireDog Research


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