Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Cameron's new man in charge of the NHS, Jeremy Hunt, supports cutting NHS funding for the poor & giving it to the rich.

A few months back, Andrew Lansley was considering switching the way funding was applied to various areas of England's NHS network. The damage of which is shown in the map above (Green areas benefit from Lansley's plan, everyone else loses). Traditionally, Labour had organised funding so that the poorest areas of England with greater health needs were prioritised. Lansley, for a time, had considered switching the cash away from the poorest areas of England to the wealthiest areas of England instead where Lansley argued that because people lived much longer, they had greater health needs. This would have meant the switching of billions of pounds of funding from the poor to the rich. See my piece where I covered it in detail (here).

Thankfully an excellent campaign mounted by Labour Left and also the professional input of Professor Clare Bambra, the plan was halted. Clare conclusively proved that poor areas require precisely the prioritisation that Labour had earmarked it (see here)

The worrying prospect now is that these Tory plans are back on the agenda. I say so for two reasons. First, Jeremy Hunt has been promoted to Health Secretary. And second, because Hunt is a known and vocal supporter of switching cash from poorer areas to wealthy ones.

We know this because Hunt tells us so. His own website carries the following comments from himself:

"The real problem lies with the inherent  bias in the Government’s NHS funding formula of areas like Surrey. Guildford and Waverley’s population is weighted 9.1% upwards for market forces and 2.0% upwards for age structure but is weighted 25.3% downwards for additional need. The result of this is that the former Guildford & Waverley PCT's target allocation per un-weighted head of population was £1,176, 15.3% less than the England average of £1,388. This means that even in an area with a large population of older people, the Royal Surrey is losing out”. Jeremy Hunt website (24 July, 2007).

Watch this space for Hunt's plans to reincarnate Lansley's dastardly plan to re-allocate NHS Funding from the poor to the rich.

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