How to fix British health care: Privatization

There is a solution, but it would really put out of joint the noses of the clientele. When a hospital fails in the way that the Basildon and Thurrock Trust has, it should be turned over immediately to a private-sector hit squad to sort it out.

This does not mean violating the terms of the 1946 Act that set up the NHS, and depriving people of a health service free at point of use. It means that the people who provide them with that service do not work for the state, but for contractors employed by it. I can understand that this would upset Leftists in all parties – including in the Tory party, whose policy on the NHS is to do everything identically to Labour – but that would be too bad. The maintenance of the ideological purity of the politically motivated should not be put before the lives of those to whom the state has a duty of care: but that is precisely how things are at the moment…

The state would pay the private sector to deliver health care to the people through those hospitals. It could be done on three- or five-year rolling contracts, with penalty clauses and scope for immediate termination if the businesses could not do the job properly. This would, of course, entail the providers making a profit, which is what the Leftists claim to hate. But when they cry that “no one should make a profit out of health care”, they forget that lots of people already do: from those who work in the NHS to its every supplier – drugs companies, equipment manufacturers, building firms. It is time that preposterous argument was buried once and for all.