N.H.S. or Insurance?.

Profile picture for user Lincoln 7

Member for

9 years 4 months

Posts: 8,306

Without going on about myself, Tony, or indeed, many thousands of others, I would like to ask members whether "we" should keep putting money into the NHS to keep it going, or go down the route of the U.S.A. and have to have Health Insurance before we could receive treatment. Like many things, the older one gets, the premiums would get higher and higher as one gets older. Where would the elderly get the money from to pay for Health Insurance, as even now, as Winter approaches, it will be a case of "Heat, or eat". for many thousands of the elderly. Jim Lincoln .7. P.S. Pardon the pun, but things are "looking up" at the moment, re the eye Op.
Original post

Member for

13 years

Posts: 9,689

We should keep funding the NHS and it should remain 'free' at the point of delivery. Those that can afford private healthcare, and wish to pay for it, should be allowed to do so; I don't see how this can have an overall negative impact on the NHS. It is going to be increasingly difficult to fund the NHS so there has to be some change, quite what I don't know, but also there has to be some effort to start 'making' people take better care of themselves... ...again, don't ask me how!
Profile picture for user Lincoln 7

Member for

9 years 4 months

Posts: 8,306

C.D......Warren, Just as a matter of interest, I did ask the surgeon, when I had my first Cataract Op, what it would cost me if I had her do the eye I have just had done, done quicker than to be put on the "Waiting List" as I was. She told me £2.000 if I wanted her to do it Privately. I think we would all agree that our eyes are the most valuable of all our senses, and would be willing to pay, however, where would many be able to lay their hands on £4.000 to pay to have both eyes done Privately?. Jim Lincoln .7.
Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years

Posts: 11,141

With a few reservations I agree it should remain free at the point of use. However the change for free prescriptions for men at 60 should be reversed. Free prescriptions should only apply to pensioners as it used to. I also think that there should be both a charge for GP appointments and a fine for missed appointments with some riders. You pay for your dentist, why not your doctor?

Member for

8 years 6 months

Posts: 6,467

We absolutely must take responsibility for our health. The propaganda should be directed towards prevention with a reward of some taxation benefit or some other inducement to remain healthy and free from medical intervention. Things that happen to us outside of our control are another matter.
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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19 years 9 months

Posts: 16,831

I am fortunate in that my wife gets health cover with her job, and for a very modest sum it has been extended to cover me. I therefore had no hesitation in spending around £25,000 of the insurance company's money two fund two major treatments between 2008 and this year, knowing that a good chunk of that money would find its way to the NHS coffers, rather than the NHS funding me. (Despite having been a net contributor since 1971.) It was also pleasant to see, at the bottom of the extensive menu presented to me each morning: "If you would like wine with your meal please ask the attendant" Pity I was feeling too rough to take advantage. Moggy

Member for

13 years

Posts: 9,689

How would you say the insurance companies money finds its way to NHS coffers? I'm not doubting that maybe some (much) of it does but I'd be interested to hear your opinion (other that the saving the NHS makes for not carrying-out your treatment obviously).

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13 years

Posts: 9,689

...would many be able to lay their hands on £4000 to pay to have both eyes done privately?
Depends what having your 'eyes done' means exactly but, apparently, the average cost for a two week family holiday for four is over £4000 so clearly there are those that can afford that.....every year! I guess this comes down to what people really can and 'cannot afford' to pay for! I am constantly astonished what some pay for certain unnecessary luxuries (usually according to industry figures so maybe to be taken with some caution)!
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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19 years 9 months

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How would you say the insurance companies money finds its way to NHS coffers?
The many scans and all the radiotherapy were carried out by the unit at Addenbrooke's or W Suffolk for which they received recompense from the insurers, rather than carrying it out for free if I had simply gone NHS. As you say, this on top of the savings incurred by not treating me directly. Moggy

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13 years

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I don't see any reason why the NHS and private healthcare cannot happily coexist in the United Kingdom.
Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years

Posts: 11,141

Can you imagine the additional strains on the NHS if there was no private provision?

Member for

13 years

Posts: 9,689

We absolutely must take responsibility for our health...
That is going to a tricky one! With, already, something as preventable as (type 2?) diabetes taking-up nearly 10% of the total NHS budget due to, basically, people eating too much or eating the wrong foods.

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13 years

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Can you imagine the additional strains on the NHS if there was no private provision?
Well, exactly; but I have heard the argument that private healthcare acts only to the detriment of the NHS.
Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years

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I'd be interested in the details of the evidence for that contention.
Profile picture for user Lincoln 7

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9 years 4 months

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I.M.H.O. All these migrants, legal or illegal is possibly going to be an additional drain on the NHS, as many need medical aid before they even get here.and bear in mind, some of them bring their family of 3.4.5.6 or even 8 as I saw on T.V. the other night. I try my best to stay healthy, however, one cannot control what Mother Nature throws us at some time or other during our lifetime. Jim Lincoln .7
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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19 years 9 months

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Or possibly be net contributors? Young healthy people of working age to support those of us who spend our lives drawing state pensions and chewing the fat on Fora in between spells in hospital. Not to mention that the NHS would collapse without the migrants who work in it. Moggy

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8 years 2 months

Posts: 851

What is often forgotten is that if you have an acute problem or a medical emergency, then in the vast majority of cases you will be going to an NHS hospital whether you have private health insurance or not. How the monies from any insurance policy are then distributed depends on the circumstances. So private provision does not help A&E departments at all and these are the ones that are most stretched at the moment. Whilst undoubtedly some money from Private Health Insurance does go to the NHS through use of facilites, I suspect that more of 'our taxpayers' money goes the other way as the NHS procures non-emergency treatment from local private hospitals. Many would not survive if they were not 'subsidised' by the NHS in this way. Certainly the vast majority of Private Hospital clinical staff have been trained by the NHS, indeed many work in both sectors, nurses, physios, doctors and consultants. This in itself could be considered to be to the detriment of the NHS? Private hospitals tend to 'cherry pick' simpler, safer procedures to be done under NHS contracts such as cataract operations. These bread and butter procedures produce fewer complications and so by these being farmed out to local private hospitals they reduce the income to the NHS hospitals which supports the more complex and emergency work. If there is a clinical emergency they cannot cope with at a private hospital, then the private patient will be taken to their local NHS hospital. For example, when I had a colonoscopy recently I was sent to the local private hospital for the procedure.this is normally perfectly safe, but I know from my NHS contacts that if I had suffered a perforated bowel from the procedure ( and it has happened there) I would have been taken three miles down the road to the NHS hospital for it to be sorted out. For some procedures I personally would much prefer to be treated in a large NHS hospital where they have the expertise and clinical support than in a small private hospital with reduced facilities. Edit: The primary reason for taking put private health insurance is to jump the NHS queue

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7 years 5 months

Posts: 104

NHS! Just after her 3 rd birthday my eldest daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the care we received was unbelievable and were also supported in almost every other way possible, if we were in other type of system we would now be bankrupt, both me and my missus have worked full time since we left school( or in her case uni ) and she is an A and E nurse but we still could not have afforded to pay for the treatment.

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13 years

Posts: 8,826

Well said,
With a few reservations I agree it should remain free at the point of use. However the change for free prescriptions for men at 60 should be reversed. Free prescriptions should only apply to pensioners as it used to. I also think that there should be both a charge for GP appointments and a fine for missed appointments with some riders. You pay for your dentist, why not your doctor?
Do you realise the costs involved, no you obviously don't, at over £8 charge per prescription is just the start, I am now on quite a few drugs a day, times that by each prescription and it soon adds up, and I am working but that's still about £60 a pop. Luckily they have a card scheme where you pay £100 per annum to cover them all otherwise I'd be looking at about £780 per year. And that does not include the repeat prescriptions where they have varied my drug doses. Now a women retires at the age of 60 hence the age limit, or would you stop her's as a pensioner as well as his? equal quality and all that? Charging for a GP appointment would stop people going, what happens if the person that doesn't go because they are put off has something like T.B? Agreed charge for missed appointments . Oh and you only pay for dental if you go private, NHS is still free. ..
Profile picture for user charliehunt

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7 years

Posts: 11,141

I don't know how old you are but presumably over 60 and under 65. So supposing you were 58, or 55 and so on. The line has to be drawn somewhere as I presume you would agree and teaching pensionable age is a rational solution and worked well for about 60 years. I am merely suggesting reverting to the original criteria before the Blair government amended it. No, I made no mention of equalising the age. That would only make rational sense if the pension age was equalised. And for information: NHS dental services explained Understanding NHS dental charges Dentistry is one of the few NHS services where you have to pay a contribution towards the cost of your care. The information on this page explains what you may have to pay for your NHS dental treatment. Emergency dental treatment – £18.80 Band 1 course of treatment – £18.80 This covers an examination, diagnosis (including X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if clinically needed, and preventative care such as the application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant if appropriate. Band 2 course of treatment – £51.30 This covers everything listed in Band 1 above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or removal of teeth but not more complex items covered by Band 3.

Member for

13 years

Posts: 9,689

Private hospitals tend to 'cherry pick' simpler, safer procedures to be done under NHS contracts such as cataract operations. These bread and butter procedures produce fewer complications and so by these being farmed out to local private hospitals they reduce the income to the NHS hospitals which supports the more complex and emergency work.
Struggling to get my head round the economics of this.....'reduce the income to the NHS'? How does the NHS derive any 'income' from the work that they do? Yes, I can understand the economies of scale to a larger hospital but is there really a 'loss' of income in the conventional business sense? I'm not really trying to have an ideological argument here but maybe a purely economic one. For example if my local NHS hospital sends a patient to a private hospital and pays the private hospital for an operation doesn't that still, effectively, tick all the NHS boxes? Sure, the private hospital may make a (modest) profit but if they also make some efficiency savings, not to mention investments in buildings and equipment, that save the NHS money, isn't the result to the taxpayer about the same?