Friday, May 18, 2012

Poorer patients face a £3,000 cut in health spending, while rich to benefit by up to £1,750

Andrew Lansley has signalled plans to switch NHS funding from poorer parts of the UK to Tory heartlands. He is doing so by changing the way heath funding is allocated so that places were people live longer they get more money. For areas of the North East (eg. Middlesbrough) where people men die up to fifteen years younger than parts of the south (west Dorset etc), this is a further erosion into their right to equality of health provision. If anything, the areas where people are dying younger require greater resources not less. Professor Clare L Bambra has researched the consequences of Lansley's proposals and her excellent research concludes that it will mean a £3,000+ reduction in health spending for citizens in places like Knowsley per parliament,that is to say over 5 years (see here). At the same time Professor Bambra has calculated citizens in Surrey will benefit £1,750 per parliament.

Labour Left's Chair, Grahame Morris MP, hit out at Lansley accusing him of Gerrymandering for future electoral benefit (here). I myself view it as a moral punishment meted out to the poorer north for their perceived lax living. Tory Public Health Minister Anne Milton mocked northerners as drunks and bed hoppers at the start of this year and in many respects this switching of funding away from the north and inner city areas is in my view a straightforward punishment for those perceived excesses. Tory moralism I must emphasise has no basis in reality, what's more likely is that the north is still struggling to recover from the generational burden of carrying the bulk of the workload during the industrial revolution, and in more recent years the catastrophic effects of Thatcher's assault on the coal miners. The major consequence is that de-industrialisation and neo-liberalism have left the periphery of the London based economy, particularly Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East, suffering the consequences to their well being and health.

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