Don't be afraid of the private sector24th June 2011
Matt James, chief executive of H5 Private Hospitals Alliance, says we should not be scared of the private sector.
With the NHS, anyone who believes in freedom of choice has to argue that it is a good idea.
There is the view, which I disagree with, that in health, a state monopoly is simply accepted, and choice and competition seem dangerous.
The best thing about the NHS is that it will be there when we need it and this makes economic and political sense as well as being emotionally appealing.
In America, where more is spent per capita on public healthcare than here, many millions more people must still pay their own way – a direct result of failing to care for those people who face the greatest healthcare problems.
This country is better off because of the personal choice and freedom.
Despite working closely with private healthcare, I use the NHS more than I use private hospitals. I have a GP, used NHS maternity services for the birth of my children and will call an NHS ambulance in the event of an emergency.
There is no such thing as a private patient, only people who choose to receive some of their healthcare privately.
Those who can afford it have always had access to private healthcare but why not let more people have more choices about where and how they are treated?
Private hospitals have considerable expertise and are keen to share this with the NHS and more must be done to use this expertise for all patients.
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Title: Don't be afraid of the private sector
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 18910
Date Added: 24th Jun 2011