With the end of the lockdown in sight (we are told), there has never been a more urgent need to address the vexed question of NHS funding, according to Jeremy Warner. The universal model is obsolete and out of date and itself a major cause of capacity constraints in the system. This has led to a lockdown which has lasted much longer and caused far greater economic and social damage than it should have done, so terrified were ministers of overwhelming the NHS.
"The solution to these problems has long been obvious to any student of the funding model used to support much of Europe’s system of universal healthcare – a much more robust form of social insurance, either by way of a hypothecated tax or, as in Switzerland, compulsory private insurance, charged in a progressive manner down to quite low levels of income.
The idea of healthcare “free at the point of delivery” has always been a fatuous pretence; someone, somewhere pays. Successive governments therefore ration, skimp and cut corners in healthcare, resulting in a sense of permanent crisis.
As the pandemic has shown, a more resilient economy demands a more resilient healthcare system in which the costs are properly understood and directly paid for, as with any other complex, consumed service."
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