The National Treatment Purchase Fund is one of Mary Harney’s successes as minister for health, and yet here is an example of a hospital refusing to work with it to reduce the suffering of patients.
Why? Many opponents of the NTPF are opposed to it on ideological grounds, believing that paying public money to private hospitals is wrong, even if it relieves suffering.
What is the difference between those bound by that ideological straitjacket, and those Thatcherite/Republican lunatics who are opposed to government spending on ideological grounds? Sod the ideology and the “It’s all very well in practice, but will it work in theory?” nonsense.
The NTPF works, using the free market to provide access to treatment regardless of income. Most people who are suffering want treatment, and don’t give a toss who provides it or owns the hospital. The purpose of a government is to reduce suffering, and that is exactly what the NTPF has done for 165,000 people. You can read some of their stories here.