Which hospitals offer the best coverage of the UK’s NHS?
Posted On July 16, 2021
In the run-up to the general election, the Government announced it would cap the cost of private health insurance and increase its rebate.
The change means that those earning up to £42,000 a year will no longer be able to buy health insurance for themselves and will have to pay for it out of pocket.
The Government is also proposing to scrap the Health and Social Care Act, which it says will cost more than £5bn over the next five years.
The government also plans to increase the amount of funding available to public health services, including those that deal with mental health.
On Wednesday, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a series of changes that would give patients greater control over their health.
Among them are a cap on the maximum monthly cost of health insurance, a reduction in the rate of premium rises, and a reduction to the level of government funding for the private sector.
The changes, announced as part of the Health Reform Bill, include: 1) a cap of £22,000 for private insurance, excluding the government rebate 2) a rise in the maximum rate of annual premium increases to 6 per cent, from 5 per cent 3) a freeze in premium increases on private insurance and the rebate 4) a reduction of up to half the level at which premium rises are capped in future to 0.5 per cent 5) a doubling of the rate at which the government grants rebates to private insurers 6) a ban on the use of health savings accounts to fund private health care.
Critics have welcomed the plans as an improvement on the previous Government’s plans.
But some health professionals are calling for more.
“The proposals for this bill are good, but I worry that the Government is just not delivering the level and quality of care we need,” said Dr Simon Waddell, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Dr Wadd, who has worked in a number of hospitals, including Glamorgan General and Oxford Hospital, added: “What is needed is for the Government to deliver what it promised, rather than the level it is delivering.”
Some NHS trusts have also raised concerns about the impact of the changes on services.
Some of the most popular hospitals, such as Glamorgans, have said they are not confident that the changes will work, and are concerned about the cost to patients.
NHS chief executive Andrew Lansley has said the changes are part of a wider review of the NHS, which is due to be published in the coming weeks.
Many NHS trusts, particularly in northern England, have also expressed concerns that the cuts will leave vulnerable patients with less access to care, particularly those with mental illness.
And in May, a survey by the British Medical Association found that many NHS trusts are concerned that the reforms will mean they cannot cover all patients with mental illnesses.
Earlier this year, the UK Health Quality Council released a report that highlighted the fact that the NHS is not doing enough to address the issues of mental health and mental illness in the NHS.
According to the report, mental health care was only covered by a third of the total NHS budget in 2020.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “These plans will deliver a number, but not all, of the Government’s health and social care reforms.
They include: 1) A cap of up a fifth of a patient’s annual premium for private health cover; 2) an increase in the limit on the rate (the maximum rate at where premium rises can be capped) for future increases in annual premium rises; and 3) the introduction of a flat rate rebate for private providers.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is not expected to be available for an interview until next week.
If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit the Samaritans 24-hour crisis line on 0800 543 354.