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NHS GP Doctors Putting Profit Before Patient Care, Channel 4 News Investigation

Politics / NHS Mar 03, 2011 - 12:02 AM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis Article"Your doctor making a profit out of your health care, your GP Sending you to a clinic that he or she owns shares in, we are seeing the biggest shake up of the NHS in its history, Channel 4 news can reveal tonight that there is nothing on the legislation currently before parliament to prevent the outcome no one wants, doctors putting profit before the care of patients, in our special report tonight we show how the new arrangements will create fundamental conflicts of interest potentially harming the trust at the very heart of the doctor patient relationship". Channel 4 News


Today's Channel 4 News investigation charged NHS Doctors with the subversion of the the coalitions governments NHS reforms to result in NHS doctors pocketing all of the cash saved as a consequence of the NHS reforms, which matches my own analysis of near 9 months ago that the Coalition Governments proposed reforms were fatally flawed in that they allowed GP's to profit from patient care.

Channel 4 News investigation key points:

  • Serious flaws in the Governments NHS reforms legislation, it's failure to protect patients against fundamental conflicts of interest, it allows GP's to put profit before patient care.
  • All of the monies saved will go into the pockets of NHS GP's and doctors.
  • GP's during patient consultations factoring in the profit they will make on their diagnoses.
  • GP's referrals on the basis of how much commission they will earn from the heath institution.
  • GP referrals to health clinics that the GP's own shares in.
  • New private health clinics being set up with a view to making profits so that they can floated onto the stock market at huge profit for share holding GP's
  • GP's get access to dip their hands into the annual £80 billion pot of money meant for patient care.
  • GP's draw up the rules themselves on the conflict of interest, akin to writing 100 times, "I promise, I will not fiddle the patients"

NHS GP's Profiting from Patient Care Referrals - Channel 4 News

Under the Labour government patients were treated as credit cards to swipe in and out of door ways as fast as possible to maximise profits. Under the Coalition government patients will now become cash cows to milk to the fullest extent possible, what's best for the health of patients won't even factor into the thought process during GP consultations - Yes, if I send Patient X to Clinic Y for operation Z, I will make a £2000 profit, marvelous!

NHS Reforms Analysis 2010 Revisited

The Bottom line is that politicians of already dubious character are no match for highly intelligent and devious NHS GP's who as they did before with the Labour Government's 2002-2003 GP contracts, that resulted in GP pay soaring in the stratosphere (see graph) whilst working fewer hours, will again run rings around a weak coalition government with a view to maximising profit at the expense of the tax payer and patient health care and there is nothing that the government will do to prevent this as the underlying Tory ethos has always been towards the dismantling of the NHS in favour of a market economy.

The proposed changes remain the worst of both worlds, i.e. no market competition and unprecedented GP control over NHS funds that in significant part will be funneled into the back pockets of NHS GP's as the below excerpts of my analysis during 2010 concluded and warned the consequences of:

05 Dec 2010 - Coalition Government NHS Reforms Disaster, Failure to Get GP Consortia's to Compete for Patients

The Coalition Governments NHS reforms to scrap ALL NHS Primary Care Trusts and replaced by competing GP Consortia's to directly manage the £85 billion budget for patient treatment commissioning, looks set to be heading for a complete disaster on the scale of the last Labour governments GP Contracts disaster, as GP Consortia's are being formed across the land on the basis of avoiding competition with one another.

14 Nov 2010 - Sheffield NHS GP Consortia's Are Anti-Competitive and Should be Scrapped

The core at the heart of Coalition Government's NHS reforms is to scrap ALL NHS Primary Care Trusts (PCT's) to be replaced by competing GP Consortia's to directly manage patient treatment commissioning (the process could take 2-3 years to implement).

Unfortunately whilst the aim was for better value for money by means of competing consortia's, the implementation is proving to be resulting in the exact opposite anti-competitive consortia's, as virtually all of the Sheffield NHS 92 GP Practices have signed up with one of of 4 geographically located GP Consortia's in advance of the implementation of the Coalition Governments NHS reforms.

The flaw in the construct of the consortia's is that there is nothing to suggest that the consortia's and GP surgeries will be competing for patients which therefore means the governments planned reforms will fail and patients could end up with an even worse health services as GP surgeries will be wielding greater power within their geographic constructed Consortia's then they were able to wield under the city wide Primary Care Trust, therefore no competition in GP services will exist and the governments reforms are destined to fail, just as badly as Labours 2002-2003 GP contracts failed as they sent annual GP pay rises soaring into the stratosphere.

01 Oct 2010 - BMA, NHS GP Doctors Do Not Want Competition, Value for Money or Patient Choice

The British Medical Association (BMA) representing NHS GP Doctors has belatedly gone on the offensive against the coalition government's plans for reforming the NHS by introducing a market for competing GP consortiums to manage most of the NHS £100 billion budget. NHS GP's do not want competition because it would mean a more commercial health service where patients are able to freely move to the better run GP surgeries which risks putting failing GP surgeries out of business and fellow GP's out of work.

Therefore under a more competitive GP health servicing market as consortia compete against one another for patients, those surgeries that rank at the bottom that prove unable in satisfying and thus retaining patients, should find themselves forced to merge and to restructure with new staff employed so as to ensure that the consortia's are better able to compete against one another for patients. This also means for the reforms to work then there must be at least 2 competing consortia per locality, and preferably more other wise the reforms will FAIL and result in even worse patient health care experience as there will be NO incentive for GP's to treat patients but every incentive to deliver as much as possible of the £100 billion NHS budget into the back pockets of GP's which is probably what GP's expect to happen as occurred following the 2003 Labour GP contracts as illustrated by the below GP Pay graph that contributed to the 2009 MP expenses scandal as GP pay took off into the stratosphere whilst MP's watched on in envy therefore triggering the expenses abuse.

09 Jul 2010 - ConLib Government to Give NHS GP's £80 Billion Blank Cheque

The ConLib government appears hell bent on repeating Labours 2003 GP Contracts mistake by effectively giving GP's a blank cheque that is expected to result in huge pay rises as GP's take money meant for improving patient healthcare to reward themselves for working less hours.

The Health Secretary Andrew Lansley believes GPs are best placed to understand patients' needs and to decide where money should be spent by funneling as much as £80 billion of the annual NHS budget to groups of GP practices to decide what healthcare services would be purchased for their patients, however the last Labour government tried a similar exercise of empowering GP's that resulted in the exact opposite outcome of that which was intended.

Labour GP Contracts and MP Expenses Lesson

When Labour came to power in 1997 average MP pay was £43,722 against average NHS GP pay of £44,000, so both were inline with one another at that time. However as the above graph clearly illustrates in 2003 something started to go seriously wrong with GP Pay which took off into the stratosphere as GP's decided to award themselves pay hikes of more than 30% per annum at tax payers expense that has lifted average GP pay to £130,000 per annum against £64,000 for MP's.

In closing, it is good to see the mainstream broadcast press picking up on the coalition governments flawed policy on the NHS, a case of better late than never, hopefully the media spot light will make a difference to legislation so as to prevent literally billions being funneled into the back pockets of NHS GP's (though I doubt it).

Comments and Source: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article26663.html

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-11 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis specialises on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and the housing market and he is the author of the NEW Inflation Mega-Trend ebook that can be downloaded for Free. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 600 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

Nadeem Walayat Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Nasir
03 Mar 11, 02:54
GP Pay

I know of a few recently trained GP's who say this 130K that they see in the news is just dreamed up, and they say they only earn a fraction of this amount. They have also said that for them to earn that sort of wage they would need to practice 20 years at least. Nadeem what is the low down on UK GP pay, I'm sure starting GP's aren't on 130K, after how many years of practice would a NHS locum or NHS surgery earn that amount in your opinion?


Nadeem_Walayat
03 Mar 11, 03:30
GP Pay

Average GP Pay is about £130k.

The varied ways in which GP's suppliment the headline PAYE figures is in many ways worse than that which the MP's were up to with their expenses.

Expenses, surgery practice dividends on profits, and large practice pension contributions, then you get a realistic figure of about £130k,


Ian
04 Mar 11, 10:15
dOW Forecast 2011

Hi Nadeem,

Really missing your work on theh DOW. There is so much rubbish being written, we need you!!

What is your take on present situation? Are we in correction which will resolve higher, or is this end of Bull?

Thanks,

Ian


Nadeem_Walayat
05 Mar 11, 02:45
Dow 2011

Hi

Dow will be my next indepth analysis, will take about a week and follow interest rates - sunday, which has taken me 6 weeks!

It's all connected, economy, inflation, interest rates, the more accurate the analysis on these then the more probable will be the likes of analysis on the Dow and other markets such as housing.

Best

NW


sc
05 Mar 11, 03:59
Always

There appear to be quite a lot of us who always look forward to reading your analysis.Some of the most though provoking to be had.Moreover what I appreciate is how you acknowledge that forecasts don't get set in concrete ,they have to rolled over and reformultaed periodically as new events unfold that effect them. This is exactly how the markets actually work so any analysis that doesn't follow that process would be hopelessly flawed.

Keep it up.


Rick
05 Mar 11, 18:40
Missing the roots of the pay hike

Hi Nadeem,

loving your thought provoking analysis, as always.

Just a quick point.... you say that MPs looked at GPs pay with envy. Back in the 90s it was the doctors who were looking at their peers pay in the City with envy, hence leading to a toughening of their stance on pay. I know, I was there! (COI: I am a doctor, who qualified in the late 90s.) At that time, I was seeing my friends at the same Uni, going in to well paid City jobs (typically twice as much) with similar work loads.

Even now, I have friends who I went to Uni with who earn multiples of the salaries in City Law firms compared with friends who studied for 3 times as long who are medical academics....

Many, many things wrong with the NHS Nadeem. Your analysis only scratches the surface!

Best regards...


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