BusinessCompany NewsFD warns of NHS rationing

FD warns of NHS rationing

The UK must introduce extra national health contributions and German-style healthcare rationing, according to one of the UK's leading FDs and a member of an NHS taskforce.

Link: NHS finanial managers under strain

The German government initiated a number of healthcare reforms towards the end of July, which resulted in patients having to pay for visits to doctors.

Michael Queen, finance director of FTSE-100 company 3i and member of the NHS taskforce on the future of the health service, said similar reforms in the UK were inevitable.

‘Demographically, the UK cannot afford to sustain this level of healthcare over the next 50 years,’ he said. ‘All developed economies have a dramatically ageing population and a smaller working force.

‘Once you get to a certain age, the cost goes higher and there is a smaller number of working people.’

He added that ‘some form of healthcare rationing and more contributions towards healthcare will have to take place’ in the UK.

According to Queen, the reforms to German healthcare present an attractive prospect. ‘That sort of approach would be entirely appropriate in the UK,’ he said. ‘It’s a very sensible way of making people appreciate the service. If a service is free, you misuse it potentially, but if people have to pay, they do not go to the doctor with trivial issues. And poorer people will still get free healthcare.’

It is not an opinion shared by David Poynton, chair of CIPFA’s health panel and finance director at Birmingham health authority. ‘Changes like this will not occur in this country,’ he said, claiming the bureaucratic burden and successive governments’ commitment to the present system would prohibit such a move.

The debt-ridden German healthcare system has undertaken its biggest reform since the country’s reunification in 1990, which will save the government about €23bn (£16bn) by 2007.

Germans must now pay to visit the doctor, or get private health insurance. It means the costs of prescription medicines, hospitalisation and sick leave compensation will be redistributed.

The NHS taskforce, of which Queen is a member, was set up three years ago to explore different options for the future of the health service. Its members look at various aspects of the NHS, including finances, and advise ministers and MPs.

Related Articles

BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

Audit BDO replaces Deloitte as Mitie auditor

3m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
CVR Global appoints partner in London office

Company News CVR Global appoints partner in London office

7m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
FTSE100 failing to provide adequate ethics information

Company News FTSE100 failing to provide adequate ethics information

7m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Moore Stephens recruits new private client partner

Accounting Firms Moore Stephens recruits new private client partner

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Magma Group announces merger, partner promotions

Accounting Firms Magma Group announces merger, partner promotions

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO on ‘recruitment spree’ with multiple partner appointments

Accounting Firms BDO on ‘recruitment spree’ with multiple partner appointments

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Brand strength leads to fee income growth for RSM

Accounting Firms Brand strength leads to fee income growth for RSM

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Mazars strengthens audit team with partner appointment

Accounting Firms Mazars strengthens audit team with partner appointment

10m Emma Smith, Managing Editor