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Saturday 24th February 2018

NHS on the Edge

29th April 2006

29042006_EggontheEdge1.jpgWhich national industry does not know what its paid workers are doing? asks healthmatters in its quarterly editorial. Yes, you've guessed it. The NHS, in negotiating the new contracts for GPs and specialists, have "handed money to doctors without any increase in productivity."

Out of hours care specifically has been taken out of the hands of organised GP co-operatives and "given to free-standing providers which have to hire doctors as sessional workers at inflated rates." The result, says healthmatters, is that taxpayers have to pay more for a service that is no better than it was before.

To make matters worse, the Primary Care Trusts that have gone into deficit as a result of this "incompetence" are now having to make staff redundant in order to balance their books.

Seemingly, "the rules that apply to the centre (spend lots, don't think too carefully about how or why) do not apply to the periphery (account for every penny, make every penny count)."

Primary care trusts may be "bailed out" for the moment but how long will it be before a "vigorous campaign of shroud waving" combines with anti-privatisation protests to bring the NHS and the incumbent government to the edge of the precipice?

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