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Health Tourism Cripples NHS, Nationwide Winter Crisis Paralysis

Politics / NHS Feb 06, 2017 - 04:18 PM GMT

By: Nadeem_Walayat

Politics

The mainstream press has been reporting on the unfolding NHS crisis over the winter months, one of a building paralysis in the NHS that in large part has its roots in EU out of control immigration and wide spread health tourism abuse that in large part is of african origin. Where people who are ill come to the UK for FREE treatment on the NHS and thus clog up thousands of much needed beds for months at a time, health tourism impacts the NHS across the whole spectrum of services from maternity wards upwards across all age groups costing billions and crippling NHS services.


For instance the BBC broadcast a documentary of how a pregnant Nigerian woman dumped herself onto the NHS in November 2016, gave birth to quadruplets at a cost to the NHS of £500,000 and apparently not repaying a single penny! This is but just one example of how health tourists are abusing the NHS and bringing it to crisis point. You can watch the BBC documentary on iplayer of how the NHS is fighting a losing battle against health tourism -

The public accounts committee has heavily criticised the NHS for failure to reclaim costs.

"If the NHS does not recover the cost of treating patients who are not entitled to free care, then there is less money available to treat other people and even more pressure on NHS finances"

"The systems for cost recovery appear chaotic"

Whilst EU migrants are entitled to free healthcare, however the NHS has proved inept at recouping costs from EU member states for healthcare provided to their citizens i.e. out of an estimated £6 billion cost only £50mln per year is being recouped from the EU. Whilst at the same time the EU nations claim near £700mln from from the UK for treating Brit's living in the EU.

In fact the crisis the NHS faces is an all year long problem, it's just that during the winter months extra seasonal demand has brought large parts of the NHS virtually to a state of complete paralysis with no beds available for patients. For instance during the EU referendum campaign Polish peoples view of the NHS as broadcast on the mainstream press was basically to say that it was rubbish in comparison to the Polish health service due to difficulties in getting GP appointments and the long hospital waiting lists. Which I am sure came across as being highly ironic to many British viewers at the time, as the primary reason why the NHS is in a state of crisis is due to the fact that Polish amongst other eastern european migrants have over the past decade literally uncontrollably flooded into Britain bringing the NHS, schooling and housing amongst all services to crisis point. It is simple, dump 8.2 million people into Britain and yes it will push services such as the NHS to breaking point. Whilst Poland has seen 10 million Poles migrate westwards resulting in Poland's population falling from 50 million to 40 million, so YES as 1/5th of Poland's population has migrated westwards then there will be plenty of capacity for Poland's health service, cheap housing and easy access to school places.

Another example had a Polish worker in receipt of high UK employed wages now working over the internet from Poland, shown to be in the middle of building his dream home in Poland for just £60k which would buy very little in over crowded Britain. This illustrates the propaganda of migrant workers contributing more than they take as being FALSE, as migrant Polish workers are earning UK wages not to spend or invest here in the UK so as to generate economic activity, but withdrawing the capital and spending and investing it back in Poland. So Britain loses doubly, once through a well paid UK Job being taken by a migrant worker and then again due to loss of capital that acts as a continuous drain on the British economy which when everything is taken into account costs Britain an annual £75 billion! Far beyond the net £10 billion annual EU contribution towards building cultural centres, roads, bridges and airports in Poland amongst other EU nations which is why at the time deemed a Brexit vote as being the most probable outcome.

So whilst an actual Brexit remains pending, the people of Britain look set to endure at least a couple more years of EU pain, of zero control over the borders of a worsening crisis in the NHS, schools and housing in the face which politicians can only throw up a propaganda smoke screens such as yesterdays announcement of getting to grips with health tourism of asking patients to pay in advance, which in reality is the same drivel we have been hearing spout from the worthless orifices of west minister politicians for a decade!

There is no solution to Britians NHS crisis whilst the people of Britain are forced into choosing between tweedle dumb and tweedle dee. NO CHOICE WHATSOEVER, and the only choice the people of britain have had for the past 40 years was in voting for BrExit!

Therefore a new dawn from Britain remains pending further political earth quakes against the establishment elite that have ruled Britain for centuries as the people of Britain slowly at least attempt to gain freedom.

NHS Free But Worthless Health Service

And here's a real life personal example of what the paralysis in the NHS means. I had a blood test done recently, normally one makes an appointment with a GP to discuss the blood test but the reception staff stated we no longer do that, instead call in a few days time when we have the results and we will let you know if you need to make an appointment.

So I call the GP reception a few days later and I am told that the blood tests have come back fine. So I ask for print out copy of the blood test results, in response to which I am told that the reception staff need to discuss it with a doctor and to call back tomorrow morning. No I did not ask why if the blood test is fine I can not just pick a copy of the blood test up, though that is what I was thinking at the time.

I call next morning and you guessed it, the blood test result was NOT FINE! This is a real like example of Britain's increasingly worthless NHS that is just going through the motions of providing a health service! WORTHLESS. The only solution to which is as I have written countless times is to bring real market forces to bear down onto the NHS as I have been literally writing of for the whole of this decade and NOTHING has changed instead the situation worsens with each passing year!

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

NHS Privatisation Solution

Britains population has been conditioned over the decades to resist calls for the privatisation of the NHS. However, contrary to what the population believes GP's have always been Independant PRIVATE contractors to the NHS WITHOUT COMPETITION. GP surgeries are basically businesses for profit that operate with local monopoly powers over a captured patient population. The British population would not put up with any other monopoly but have been falsely led to believe that their GP is employed by the NHS when in fact is a private contractor. This fact completely defeats the argument put forward by the BMA which is the propaganda arm of Britains 35,000 GP's against private companies being allowed to deliver NHS services, which is what one would expect from those that seek to preserve their monopoly that allows outrageous profits to be generated at tax payer extent whilst patients are treated as ATM cards to swipe in and out of doorways.

Therefore coalition plans to hand over much as £85 billion per annum to PRIVATE GP Businesses that do not compete against one another would be a total disaster. The only answer to the crisis in the lack of productivity in the health services is for competition between GP surgeries and NHS hospitals which ultimately means FULL privatisation, as the existing system of no real competition means that lack of performance is rewarded with more resources in the face of inability to deliver whilst those that excel are punished with less resources so as to pull all services down towards the under performing mean.

The only way excellence can be rewarded and duplicated is if competition drives out of business the less competent GP surgeries as they lose their patients and resources to the better run GP surgeries which can only happen in a market orientated system of healthcare delivery, where patients would in effect be handed NHS heath credit cards to enable them to buy healthcare at ANY health facility whether NHS run or private.

Given the actual performance of the NHS, I would imagine that closing 15% of the worst performing NHS Hospitals and GP Surgeries would result in IMPROVED life expectancy for Brit's as well as contribute a £18 billion of annual savings to help bring the unsustainable £150 billion annual budget deficit under control rather than the existing Coalition policy of INCREASING the NHS budget by more than £20 billion.

Without mechanisms to drive the less competent hospitals and GP's out of business, then Britain's patients will continue to receive what amounts to a third world health service whilst paying a first world price.

The NHS Health Insurance / Credit Card

The NHS post code lottery which excludes millions from the best health care on offer can only be ended if there is real patient choice, not only for GP's but also hospitals and other health institutions right across the country where treatment is sought which requires real reform of the whole NHS health care system from diagnosis to treatment of all patients .

An important element would be to place the power to purchase healthcare in the hands of the patients by means of an NHS Health Card system, that enables patients to purchase health services from any GP practice or hospital regardless of whether it falls under the NHS umbrella or is fully private, with personal medical records encrypted onto the cards smart chips. Both patients and health practitioners would be fully aware of the financial transaction involved in the purchase of the health service, which is set against the current system where patients can be made to feel that they are an inconvenience so are easily put off by the practiced dismissive attitude of most GP's during the initial consultations, which means the medical condition of patients reaches a far more serious state and thus proves far more costly for the NHS to eventually treat.

The mechanism for the operation of the health cards could be by means of either an insurance or a credit based system.

Insurance System - An insurance system such as that which is successfully operated in Germany, where workers pay a premium as a percentage of their wages (average 14%, employer and employee paying half) into one of over 300 statutory state funds, that then cover the costs of healthcare. Patients can choose between insurance funds on the basis of premiums charged so competition acts to keep premiums competitively priced. Similarly patients are fully aware of their premium payments and cost of services thus demand a competent health service delivery. Those that are not working have their premiums paid for by the state. Additionally those with salaries above statutory limits can opt out of the state system and buy private health insurance.

Credit System - Patients would have a choice of covered core treatments for illnesses or injuries, where they would have the option of paying to top up treatments with their own money depending on the institution that they seek to purchase treatment from, or for other extra's such as IVF etc. This would have the effect of reducing the cost of the NHS whilst introducing greater efficiency into the NHS as the majority of patients would only choose those health service institutions that are ranked as delivering a good service. The NHS Health credit card would revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered in the UK, much as supermarkets revolutionised food delivery and choice during the 1980's, as heath supermarkets would spring up all across the country that would maximise efficiency and standardise quality of service delivery as they competed to offer a wider range of health services than anything a bureaucratic top down health care system could ever hope to provide.

The health care credit card system could be further enhanced by workers directly contributing to their health care plans that they can claim upon to purchase 'extra' services at a later date, much as workers today contribute into private pension schemes.

The impact of either an Insurance or Credit based system would be to greatly REDUCE the cost to taxpayers whilst at the same time delivering better health services as the focus would be on prevention to reduce costs, therefore a win, win outcome for the people of Britain as opposed the current system of an out of control unproductive £120 billion National Health Service that attempts to mask failure to deliver with phony statistics and propaganda of a "free for all service" that fails to match real patient experience.

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2016 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 25 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 focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 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.

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