Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Reform group calls for shake up in NHS funding

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 06 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:813

Rapid Response:

Re: Re: NHS funding

Wrede makes very clear points, and claims that Doctors For Reform has been
misunderstood or misrepresented.  I draw
particular attention to point 2.

2. We are not calling for co-payments by patients
at the point of use of healthservices, but rather an examination of alternative
compulsory social insurance schemes

Bevan dismissed Compulsory National Insurance, over Income Tax, since it would
gather no more money, yet predicate an individual's benefits upon his
contributions ..

for Dr Wrede’s claim that co-payments are not being called for, may I draw his
attention to Karol Sikora’s article in the Times ( see,,1072-2117044,00.html
) :-

Will the young taxpayers of 2016 or 2026 wish to
fund the health wishes of a much greater number of non-taxpayers? The days of
an exclusively tax-funded health service are numbered.

The great prize of a reformed and balanced
funding system is that the gaps in today’s service could be filled and a
modern, truly comprehensive service could emerge. People could be freed to put
additional resources of their own into healthcare, as they increasingly will
wish to do.

This new system will look and feel different.
Alongside a new funding model will come new forms of provision based on
out-of-hospital care much closer to people’s homes. Pluralism — with private
and voluntary sector providers delivering care on equal terms with the NHS —
will be taken for granted. The gains to innovation will be immense. Co-payments
and health insurance will be the new vocabulary of healthcare financing.

Maybe Doctors for Reform represent a ‘broad coalition’ of
people who all agree that 'change must happen', but have not yet agreed a common
policy  amongst themselves ?    I am against copayments (
such as prescription charges), whether 'at the point of use of healthservices' or
at any other point, because they fundamentally sully the NHS principle of
'to each according to need'.

Competing interests:

Competing interests: Maybe Doctors for Reform represent a ‘broad coalition’ ofpeople who all agree that 'change must happen', but have not yet agreed a commonpolicy

12 April 2006
L S Lewis
Surgery, Newport, Pembrokeshire, SA42 0TJ