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Squeeze on NHS budget could lead to uptake of private medical cover

Published on 22/10/2010
Private medical cover could become a more attractive alternative to the NHS for many following yesterday's (October 20th) comprehensive spending review.

As promised by chancellor George Osborne, the health service was one of the few areas not to see its budget slashed as part of government plans to drastically reduce public spending.

However, the average 2.5 per cent budget rise the NHS is to receive over the next five years is less than the three per cent needed just to maintain services.

Furthermore, it will be expected to achieve efficiency savings of some £20 billion while capital expenditure, for wards and hospitals, will be cut by 17 per cent.

As a result, a promise to introduce new one-week cancer diagnosis tests has already been abandoned.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Dave Prentis, head of public sector union UNISON, said: "The NHS will not be able to meet the demands of a growing elderly population and increasingly expensive treatments."

The Department of Health said savings would be made by cutting administrative budgets by 22 per cent by 2014 which will include scrapping eight of the current 18 health quangos.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


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