Why We Need Competition In The NHS
WHY we need comepetition for the NHS – or at least one reason why we do:
THE NHS is spending more than £20 for a loaf of gluten-free bread, 10 times more than the £2 charged for a standard small (400g) gluten-free loaf in Sainsbury’s.
This is drivelling stupidity, of course, nothing more or less than that. But what’s the reason given for this lunacy?
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of the charity Coeliac UK, said the high costs resulted from bureaucratic supply chains in the NHS.
Which gives us the two reasons why we want to have competition in the NHS. The first is the obvious one that we want to have people competing to supply the NHS: gobsmacking over-charging like that just isn’t possible when you’ve three or seven or elebenty companies cutting each others’ throats for the business. And yes, this does apply to the provision of heart surgery just as much as it does to a loaf of bread.
The second is slightly more subtle: we want there to be competition within the NHS itself, between different parts of it. Because only in a hidebound bureaucracy could 90% of the cost of an item be the process of purchasing the item. Only in a monopolistic bureaucracy that is. As soon as there’s some competition the the clipboard wielders pissing our money away will be found out. Just as with Southern Cross, a management that cocks up this badly will go bust, get fired and we can bring some other people in. Just as with Southern Cross.
Which is the real reason that we want competition in the NHS. We want it so that we can uncover and then punish those who are splurging our money around on idiotic and stupid things. And competition is the best way we’ve ever devised to do this uncovering and punishing.