July 21, 2009

NHS: long winter approaching

London Ambulance on Hamilton TerraceImage via Wikipedia

"The NHS is facing the most significant financial challenge in its history," said John Appelby from King's Fund. The joint report from UK's King’s Fund and the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the financial prospects for NHS provides an interesting read. How cold will it be? Prospects for NHS funding: 2011-2017 foresees some serious issues regarding NHS financing. Imagine, merely freezing the NHS budget in real terms would result in 8% reductions of other budgets by 2016/17.
And this is just part of the story. Combine this with a recent article from BMJ entitled "Older people may have to take out insurance to pay for long term care" and the situation grows even more concerning. The article describes among other the fact that under the present English system anyone with a home or savings of £23 500 (€27 400; $38 200) or more is not given state funding for a care home or help from social services. And they are considering to spread this also to long term care. The health care systems can't handle the rising cost of chronic care for elderly.
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