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View Full Version : European Court of Justice attempts to destroy UK NHS


Gary
16-05-2006, 10:57:22
NHS told that if they can't cope with demand and waiting lists build up then patients can get treatment elsewhere, and "the NHS must refund costs". (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4985190.stm) Basically saying that folk can jump a queue of deserving patients in front of them by going elsewhere and then getting a refund. Effectively messing up the NHS budget planning/allocation of funds, ensuring the ability to deal with the queue gets worse and worse until it finally screws up the system. Yet another indication that the lunatics are always the ones in charge.

So you heard it here first. Bugger everyone else, go get the treatment you need now and the law will force the NHS to pay (until it collapses).

It's one thing to say that the system is failing in certain cases and to ensure it's corrected, it's quite another to push everyone else back as unimportant while certain individuals jump in front at greater expense.

fp
16-05-2006, 11:05:27
Yet another case where the EU is usurping the authority of the UK Government! Isn't it our job to destroy the NHS?

Gary
16-05-2006, 11:15:33
Yeah, we have our own home grown elected lunatics to make insane decisions for us.

Funko
16-05-2006, 11:18:57
Am I alone in thinking that people should be able to get the treatment they need, in the timescales they need it on the NHS, and if we can't do that we should fix the NHS so we can do it? Even if it does cost us money.

Colon
16-05-2006, 11:26:12
God forbit people seeking treatment elsewhere if the NHS can't deliver the goods on time.

maroule
16-05-2006, 11:30:46
so the UK patients will be more and more treated in this socialist, regressive country across the channel... will be fun to see commentators from the Sun or even the Times spinning this one...

Nills Lagerbaak
16-05-2006, 11:45:35
Originally posted by Funko
Am I alone in thinking that people should be able to get the treatment they need, in the timescales they need it on the NHS, and if we can't do that we should fix the NHS so we can do it? Even if it does cost us money.

Totally! better that people can still get treatment urgently (even if it means overseas) and it is still free.

Obviously the best solution would be to fix the NHS so that people wouldn't have to go overseas, the natural hassle of going overseas should disuade people from doing so.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
16-05-2006, 12:24:08
"Basically saying that folk can jump a queue of deserving patients in front of them by going elsewhere and then getting a refund."

It just means that where an urgent medical need is not satisfied by the NHS, patients can get their care abroad refunded. So these patients will also drop from the waiting list. The main consequence seems to be that the government is forced to allocate more resources.

The ECJ decision relies mostly on EU legislation (Reg 1408/71/EEC), btw, so if you are not happy with the outcome you should blame the council of ministers.

HelloKitty
16-05-2006, 12:49:59
Yeah the UK really needs to do soem reform.

You guys have more physicians, more nurses, more beds, and more publicly available CT scanners (thanks world book!) per 1000 people than the US, but you have these long waiting lists.

Whats sad is that you have that and vastly better health in nearly every catagory but we pay more than double per capita what you all do for our healthcare (we pay $5,267 per person, 53% more than the next highest cost country in the world, Switzerland)

Funny that the povery line for a family of 4 is 18,400 (as of 2003).

HelloKitty
16-05-2006, 12:51:45
Then again we have long lines for many things too. My father was in line for 8 years for a liver before he died.

Gary
16-05-2006, 13:50:48
The main consequence seems to be that the government is forced to allocate more resources.If they had more resources they felt they could reasonably allocate they'd already be doing so. As it is the money allocated over the last few years has grown already. So we can assume no more resource increases, and forcing the NHS to pay for queue jumpers just disadvantages those further up the queue.

The eventual consequence of the NHS being forced to pay out for other country's treatment is that it'll have no funds left to run itself. In effect as a provider of health services it would be ruined, it'd just act as a middleman for funding others.

If there's a problem with the NHS it needs to be fixed. This isn't helping.

if you are not happy with the outcome you should blame the council of ministersMaybe, but it makes not a lot of odds who is to blame, the comment about the lunatics in charge still holds.

Gary
16-05-2006, 13:54:13
Oh and no one wants to stop folk getting treatment elsewhere just so long as they don't expect the NHS to fund it. The NHS's budget is for funding it's own medical provision.

What makes it worse is that many costs are fixed so a queue jumper doesn't just grab more than their fair share, it has a disproportion effect since fixed costs don't reduce when they go looking for preferential treatment.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
16-05-2006, 13:55:32
If you fix the NHS that no one in urgent need has to wait, the problem disappears.

The other way would be to dismantle that cryptocommunist bureaucracy.

Gary
16-05-2006, 13:58:48
Exactly - fix problems, don't allow folk to demand preferential treatment over their fellow citizens at the cost of a valued institution..

Drekkus
16-05-2006, 14:01:41
Hitting bureaucratic institutions in the wallet seems to be a good way to get them off their arse and reorganise.

MoSe
16-05-2006, 14:01:59
A reasonable clause would be that the refunds will be limited to a marketable amount.
So NHS would not pay for more expensive treatments, but for treatments on par with those they provide, only not in time...

Of course a patient can't expect to be refunded the bill of a luxury clinic with goldplated toilets. OTOH if that clinic was the only choice available, the patient could argue that in order to get the needed treatment not provided in time by NHS, he was forced to get the golden toilets in bundle with it....

dunno....

Funko
16-05-2006, 14:02:42
Well, the ruling is saying "this is a problem that needs fixing, because people have the right to be treated promptly. In the meantime you have to allow this alternative"

Dyl Ulenspiegel
16-05-2006, 14:19:22
Originally posted by MoSe
A reasonable clause would be that the refunds will be limited to a marketable amount.


The refunds are limited by the amount the NHS would spend. As it seems the NHS has fees for foreigners, the amounts can be roughly identified. Para 132 of the Watts judgment:

"Contrary to the view taken by Mrs Watts in her written observations, the obligation of the competent institution in all circumstances to cover the full amount of the difference between the cost of the hospital treatment provided in the host Member State and that of the reimbursement by the institution of that Member State under that State’s provisions, including where the cost of that treatment is greater than the cost of equivalent treatment in the competent Member State, would afford that patient cover in excess of that to which he is entitled under the national health service with which he is registered."

Gary
16-05-2006, 14:24:15
Is that a summary for us non-lawyers ?

And paid at the time the NHS would have spent it ?

Gary
16-05-2006, 14:31:20
the patient could argue that in order to get the needed treatment not provided in time by NHS, he was forced to get the golden toilets in bundle with it....Hip replacements are hardly 'needed treatment' in the sense that, say, a heart op, or a cancer tumour removal would be. 'Quality of life' not 'life or death'.

MoSe
16-05-2006, 14:59:16
you replace hip with hop?
no hip-hop after hip-op?

Funko
16-05-2006, 15:00:57
Hip op, not hip 'op

King_Ghidra
16-05-2006, 15:05:34
fixing the nhs is the right answer, but how to fix the nhs is the biggest unanswered question in govt.

the nhs is a 1.3 million staffed, £100bn a year behemoth, how the hell do you manage something like that? we can't even get the fucking trains running on time in this country or build a football stadium

MoSe
16-05-2006, 15:21:06
:gotit:
use the trains to gather the patients in the stadia!

Ginfizwithatwist
16-05-2006, 18:38:18
:lol: ROFL- ahh that's the best one yet!
Not only can we not keep up with the current demands by the government to fulfill all targets, and reduce waiting lists because of staff shortages and funding restrictions,dispite an increase in workload, they now want us to fund peoples jolly's away to get medical treatment.
As a result, now more patients will suffer cos the money that would have been allocated to reduce waiting times/lists and improve service provision will have to be redirected.
In the NHS there is always a knock on effect that directly affects staff and patients at the front lines. The british public has absolutely no real idea what is happening in the nhs, and what exactly the real costs are, sure we all pay our national insurance so that treatment is free at the point of care, but do they know how much it costs to keep one person in a standard hospital bed for one day?( multiply that by 4 for an intensive care bed), do they know how much it costs to have all the tests to find out what exactly is wrong? once the diagnosis is reached, comes the treatment - how much is the op?, all the equipment used ,the cost of the staff to do the op, the costs of the staff to look after them whilst they recover,the drugs used and the prescriptions given out- (what they pay for the script is not the actual cost of the drugs), the maintenance of specialist equipment to perform tests, right down to the last needle- it all has to be taken into account and paid for.
Most departments are overwhelmed with work and extremely understaffed, barely able to keep up with the demands. The money never really reaches the front lines because it is siphoned off further up the tree, we are completely saturated with managers, accountants, paper pushers and other admin staff whilst there are national shortages of specialist staff and many other staff are leaving in droves because they are sick to death of the constant criticism and undermining of every effort they make. The constant stress levels staff are under has been compared to battle fatigue.... and yet the nhs still limps on buoyed up by the good will of the staff left still battling on. I have worked there for the last 18 or so years and have never seen it so bad, i have no idea how long things can go on like this, but am sure that there will be a breaking point- it's really not a case of if, but more like when.
I am sure someone will yell pity post but until you have seen it from the inside you can have no real idea what goes on , as they say only good news travels upwards!
we have a few sayings which just about sums it all up:
"due to the financial constraints the light at the end of the tunnel has been switched off! "
" I work for a charitble institution.......the nhs"

Walrus Feeder
16-05-2006, 18:47:15
The ever increasing number of people coming into this country to live and work causes further strain on the NHS resources. Although saying this is racist and overbearingly right-wing isn't it??!!

Funko
17-05-2006, 08:17:57
Well, it is a bit reactionary and alarmist.

If someone moves here legally and they are coming to live and work they will also be paying the taxes that pay for the NHS so they have the same rights to it as any tax payer.

(The main purpose of the ID card seems to be to make sure that people who aren't entitled to things like free NHS treatment don't get it.)

Nills Lagerbaak
17-05-2006, 08:24:43
Originally posted by Walrus Feeder
The ever increasing number of people coming into this country to live and work causes further strain on the NHS resources. Although saying this is racist and overbearingly right-wing isn't it??!!


a lot of people "coming over here into this country" also end up doing things like cleaning the wards etc. without which it wouldn't get done.

Funko
17-05-2006, 08:25:40
And, of course, being nurses and doctors too. (not that I think importing skilled people from abroad is the way to deal with shortages)

Nills Lagerbaak
17-05-2006, 08:46:15
Not to mention the problems it causes in their home countries!

Funko
17-05-2006, 08:46:47
Well yes, that's definitely one of the reasons.

Oerdin
18-05-2006, 03:03:35
Originally posted by Dyl Ulenspiegel
It just means that where an urgent medical need is not satisfied by the NHS, patients can get their care abroad refunded.

I'm curious about the list of things which they consider to be urgent medical needs. I imagine most of them aren't all that urgent.