Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Debt ridden trust has no cash to pay creditors

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 16 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1410

Rapid Response:

Re: Health is not a business

You don't have to be a health economist to know that if your
expenditure exceeds your income, you're in trouble! Bail-outs don't solve
the problem, merely defer it to a later date when it will cost even more.

As doctors we would get annoyed if lay-people pontificated about our
area of expertise, but we seem happy to do just that when it comes to
economics. And, that's even when what we're saying is contrary to how we
behave in regards to our own money!

The biggest revenue cost pressure on the NHS is salaries and wages.
I don't often hear of doctors suggesting a cut in their salaries as a way
of treating more patients, despite the fact that we're the highest paid
doctors in Europe. I know, I've worked in France. If you don't believe
me, research it!

I suggest reading "Economics in one lesson" by Henry Hazlitt
(available from for a simple, easy-to-understand
explanation of the way the world works.

Paul Shannon FRCA MBA

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

24 June 2005
Paul E Shannon
Consultant Anaesthetist
Doncaster Royal Infirmary, DN2 5LT