Monetary Reform, the Real Answer to NHS Funding Problems The NHS is at a critical juncture. It is now facing the toughest financial conditions brought on by a global economic crisis since the post-war period. Gone are the days of the Government's tax and spend policy, which increased NHS funding in real terms over the past 12 or so years. Instead the NHS is now facing the consequences of a major recession which has led to a public sector deficit of £178 billion, a massive 12.5% of GDP, taking the national debt to about £800 billion. It is an understatement to say that there is strong pressure for significant and unprecedented public service cuts to drastically reduce the expected deficit in 2010/11 and thereafter. This could not be more disastrous for the NHS. The NHS budget is currently facing immense pressure from 2011 onwards to cover above inflation wage settlements as well as to resource growing healthcare needs. The latter is expected to grow in activity ranging anywhere between 1.5% (low) to a high of 5.5%. What the forecasters expect is a substantial rise in needs due to long-term conditions, changing demographics, increasing patient demand for healthcare, and the growing burden of smoking, obesity as well as alcohol and drug misuse. If this was not bad enough, many hospitals are also struggling financially with budget deficits and increasing pressure from Primary Care Trusts to cut costs. However, there is a real answer to the NHS funding crisis that means our Government does not have to severely cut public service budgets like the NHS. This is the introduction of debt-free money by our Government in the way proposed by Call4Reform. Debt free money means ‘printed’ or ‘digital’ non-repayable money. This money could be spent on not only reducing the national deficit, but also spent on productive activity and capital projects within the NHS, helping it to meet our healthcare needs. In practice this would mean that: 1.
Our Government would not have to freeze or cut the NHS budget nor seek efficiency savings of £15bn to £20bn over the next 4-5 years just to find the money to pay for our growing healthcare needs and help reduce the national deficit. Record level of staff cuts would not be necessary Investment in effective staff training and deployment along with new technologies and service innovations can be undertaken to improve the way the NHS works more productively, leading to better health outcomes and patient experience. Capital projects for refurbishing old hospitals, making existing and new healthcare building more energy efficient, and building new hospitals and healthcare centres, can be funded by a combination of debt free money and interest free loans at a fraction of the cost it would otherwise be under current PFI schemes. There would be more time for proper research, application of NHS values along with public consultation and involvement about the way the NHS can be re-configured so that it is able to meet our needs now and in the future in a way that is productive, with higher quality and greater efficiency, and where appropriate more local to where the patient is without bankrupting itself. There would be no longer any strong pressure for record number of services being closed as well as beds being cut, potentially harming patients.
Struggling hospitals would no longer collapse because they can receive the required funding to become more productive and quality driven and no longer have to scale down spending, leaving vital services intact. 8. The national tariff could rise in line with inflation helping to make many hospitals viable. 9. Post code lottery would become a thing of the past. 10. As both debt free and interest free loan money is spent on the NHS, this money would end up supporting businesses and local economies across the country, helping them back on to the path of economic recovery and prosperity in a sustainable way. 7.
In the NHS there is a lot of talk about choice as a key to improving the NHS as well as patient experience and health outcomes by putting patients more in control of their own healthcare treatment. What Call4Reform is asking, is for us to have a choice about how our money is created and put to use to benefit our lives and wellbeing. Without such choice, money will continue to be created by our banks for their own agenda, purposes and profits, making our economy so dependent upon them and their ability to keep on lending that we are effectively their slaves. Without choice we will see our economy continue on an inflationary debt spiral to oblivion. Without choice our precious NHS will be devastated with great harm to patients and those who work for it. So lets us have choice, take back control of money creation and make it serve us instead of the very rich, ensuring that our NHS thrives and is transformed to meet our healthcare needs both now and in the future in the way we have shown above. Call4Reform has a real answer for the real world. Please support us in our endeavours to make this fact know to a wider audience so that such reform can happen. For those who would like to know more, please follow the below link to an article providing more in-depth research pertaining to the above statement.
Published on Apr 12, 2010
Published on Apr 12, 2010
The NHS is at a critical juncture. It is now facing the toughest financial conditions brought on by a global economic crisis since the post...