Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

Right wing methods to deliver left wing aims.

Posted by Jason O on Jan 29, 2010 in Irish Politics |

red-crossThe 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.

1 Comment

Daniel Sullivan
Feb 5, 2010 at 2:27 pm

I have no problem with the idea behind the NPTF, if there is capacity to provide the service in the private sector use it. What would baffle me is the idea that we might pay the private operator more than the public one for the same service, that is where ideology comes into it. There again we don’t pay public hospitals for treating people as it is, we treat them on the basis of what their total budget was last year and increase or decrease it according to the state of the economy without any linkage to what we’ve charged the public or what the hospital has spent treating people. And that’s no one way to run a rail road not to mind a health service.


 

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