Unhealthy people could be offered cash payments as an incentive to go and see their GP.Because the NHS isn’t spending enough money, apparently…
Health Service managers are looking at ways to get those from deprived areas who are more prone to illness into surgeries.
But wait! They claim it’ll save money:
They say that spending small amounts now could save the NHS thousands of pounds later by helping to prevent diabetes, heart disease or weight problems.Hmmm, really? You mean it’s not simply a cash bribe to ensure the monolithic Health Service has a steady flow of cattle though the doors, the better to ensure work for all the various health trusts, quangos, projects, initiatives and associated hangers-on….?
I’m so cynical, sometimes…
The plans are contained in a report discussed this week by the board of the pioneering North-East Essex primary care trust. If the idea is successful, it could be rolled out across the country.Cash payments, vouchers – bribing people with taxpayers money once again to take up something that is free but they are just not using enough to please the bureaucrats.
Mike Gogarty, director of health at the trust, said they wanted to encourage people who would not usually go to their GP to have their health checked.
The report said people in deprived communities were less likely to look after their health, and that studies in Mexico had shown an incentive scheme may encourage people at high risk to see their doctor.
Dr Gogarty said incentives could take the form of a cash payment or vouchers for something the person needed.
'We want to help them access the services which will help with their health and social well-being,' he said.
And ‘social well-being’? Was that something the original founders of the NHS thought would be a critical outcome of their project?
Paul Zollinger-Read, chief executive of the trust, said he was looking at other ways to ensure people did not get ill by laying out small amounts of money up front.Help with heating bills on the NHS? Who is this clown?
'If there is an issue, such as someone living in a cold, damp house, they will get chest infections and suffer respiratory problems,' he said.
'If we can help them out with heating bills, we can take away that problem.'.
Dr Zollinger Read, a GP turned NHS manager, has made a career out of pioneering ideas which have later become Government policy.Ah, he’s one of those former front-line workers who has realised the future (and the fame and fortune) belongs to quasi-governmental policy wonks who can live off the fat of the taxpayer while not getting their hands dirty meeting actual *shudder* sick people.
He initiated moves to make the NHS and social services work more closely together for the benefit of elderly people, and he set up one of the first children's trusts, designed to improve services for young people.
No more long hours, ramshackle surgeries and wheezy patients, it’s off to the world of PowerPoint presentations, swish hotels, travel expenses and buffet lunches! Nice gig, Dr Read…
Even some of the other quangos and pressure groups think this guy has gone too far:
Colin Waine, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, said: 'I don't think the Health Service should be bribing people to live healthily.Mr Waine, ‘short-term solutions’ is what this government (all governments, actually…) is all about. Besides, whose money is it anyway…? Not theirs.
'There's a lot of demands on the NHS - every day you read about someone who can't get cancer drugs that could prolong survival.
'There's no good looking for short-term solutions for long-term problems. If they're going to go down this road, they should subject it to a rigorous pilot and evaluate it first.'
Mark Wallace of the Taxpayers' Alliance said: 'This is an idea that is totally alien to what taxpayers think their money will be spent on.Unintended consequences. This government creates them…
'The idea of bribing people to go to their doctors is ludicrous. It is surely their responsibility to go to the doctor if they want to.
'They'd best not hand out too many bribes or they might find that like in other parts of the country it's impossible to get a GP appointment.'