Sunday Mirror Calls for NHS to be Marketised

The Sunday Mirror’s leader column this week took aim at Theresa May’s 10-year NHS plan, however their prescription is probably not what you’d expect from the Labour Party’s required reading: marketisation of the NHS. The paper calls for an end to the NHS being free at the point of use with wealthier patients now being forced to pay for their healthcare. Despite the fact they’ve already paid higher income tax and national insurance towards it…

“Mrs May’s 10-year plan for the health service is another opportunity for fundamental reform. The NHS has only been truly free at the point of use for three of its 70 years. Consideration must be given to the well-off contributing.”

Despite Labour’s perennial claims that the Tories are plotting to privatise the NHS, it’s the leftie Mirror that’s calling for marketisation of the health service first. Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth even had an op-ed of his own in the paper. Surely Labour can’t be plotting to privatise the NHS too…

That’s not to say that it would necessarily end up being a bad thing for the NHS. Charging rich patients to pay for non-vital procedures on the NHS could trigger an explosion of market mechanisms in UK healthcare, forcing the NHS to undergo marked-based reforms to keep up, or even catalysing a wholesale shift towards a more efficient European style social insurance-based system with improved patient outcomes overall. However, this would require broader liberalisation of the healthcare market to ensure genuine competition instead of a rigged and overly-expensive market. Not a caveat likely to make its way into the Mirror any time soon…


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