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Letter: More Health Services Require More Taxes

Published on: 31 Dec, 2016
Updated on: 31 Dec, 2016

From Gordon Bridger

Hon Alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

In response to the article: Royal Surrey Staff Who Will Be Working Over Christmas.

We are very fortunate in Guildford to have the RSCH and its dedicated staff.

Most of the NHS problems now seem to be that too many of us are living much longer and many elderly are blocking beds in hospitals which should be used by those needing medical care.

We must appreciate that we just have to pay more tax if we want “free” health services. We all want to live longer but want someone else to pay.

Social care is largely a county council responsibility but the government restricts how much they can raise in taxes and in a way of which the Soviets would have been proud. Why is there such a huge fuss whenever there is any suggestion of a Council Tax increase?

We have one of the most centralised systems of financial control in Europe. Councils should be allowed to determine what tax they need to raise and not controlled to the extent they are.

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Responses to Letter: More Health Services Require More Taxes

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    January 1, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    When the NHS was set up, medicine, hospitals, and the services of doctors was meant to be free; there was no mention of payment for “hotel” costs. Therefore hospitals could charge, say £10 a day for food and laundry, £5 for those on benefits. Short stay patients would be charged each day, loner-stay patients by the week.

    The administration of such a scheme would not be too difficult and instead of increasing taxes, the money paid could be used for social care in the community, thereby releasing some of the beds, currently “blocked” by the elderly, unable to return to their own homes.

  2. A Tatlow Reply

    January 2, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Pensioners already have their pension docked after a certain period in hospital. Care woukld need to be taken that they were not double charged.

    Health and social care are so interdependent and need to work seamlessly, one wonders why they can’t be overseen by the same provider.

  3. David Pillinger Reply

    January 5, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I was the recipient of extensive care at the St Lukes’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey during last summer. After six weeks of intensive treatment, ongoing visits to the hospital since then, and visits planned for a further four and a half years from now, I can now appreciate how expensive NHS treatments are.

    With the improving ability to cure and the ageing population, I can see how we will be heading into increasingly difficult funding situations.

    I am eternally thankful for the treatment I received, and was really impressed at the human side of the NHS with the extensive support in many areas.

    There should be an honest debate about NHS funding with innovative solutions being suggested, such as Mr Bridger’s. The problem is that politicians are scared to face up to this because it has become a bit of a vote loser if one dare suggest tampering with the ethos of “free at the point of delivery”.

  4. RWL Davies Reply

    January 7, 2017 at 8:34 am

    David Pillinger is right; politicians of all shades have tinkered and experimented with the NHS according to their predilections and prejudices but have studiously avoided examination of how its core principles should evolve in response to changing demographic and financial circumstances because they fear alienating the electorate and giving their opponents political advantage.

    Much of the NHS is excellent; much borders on the dire. Throwing money at it, and at county councils, is not the long term answer: sympathetic, phased structural and funding reform is required, but it won’t come anytime soon.

    Best wishes to Mr. Pillinger for his course of treatment.

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