Dr Grumble is not a manager. He was once but he isn't now. He has decided to focus on his clinical work. One reason he is not a manager now is that his heart is not in management. He does not think the NHS is heading in the right direction.
Dr Grumble believes that we can still afford universal healthcare but that we do have to keep the lid on spending somehow and that privatisation will have the opposite effect.
Instead of thinking things through most of our politicians just follow the siren voices of those who stand to make money from privatisation. Proving to our masters that privatisation will cost more and not less is a challenge. Private is good. Private is efficient. That's the mantra. It is hard to gainsay.
But what is the evidence? Here from Canada are some bullet points that suggest that Grumble may just be right:
- The British Medical Journal reported in 2004, that the public health system was charged 47% more for hip replacements performed in private surgical clinics than for the same procedures provided in public hospitals.
- The for-profit cancer surgery clinic opened by the Conservatives was eventually closed down after the provincial auditor found that it cost $500 more per procedure than public hospitals.
- Studies reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal show that meta analyses of for-profit hospitals and clinics show that they not only cost more but they lead to higher death rates as the for-profits skimp on trained staff and quality.
- The Alberta Branch of the Canadian Consumers Association studied wait lists and costs for cataract surgery in Alberta and found that wait times in Lethbridge with 100% public surgeries were less than half those in Calgary with the majority of the for-profit clinics, and costs were $400 less per eye for the same lenses.