Principles of a National Health Service
- Universal Health Care.The health service should be ‘universal’ covering everybody and ‘comprehensive’ covering all their health needs (including drug costs, psychotherapy, physio and other therapies and care for teeth, eyes, end-of-life care and reproductive health). ‘Universal’ means little without care also being comprehensive’.
- Funded through progressive taxation and free at the point of use. ‘Progressive taxation’ is a fairer and more efficient way of funding healthcare. It means the more your income the higher the rate of tax you pay. Insurance is regressive (flat rate) and causes duplication waste and leads to unequal coverage. Direct charges for use is regressive and discourages the less wealthy to avoid using necessary services.
- Democratically PlannedServices. Services need to plan based on knowledge of the local population and their health needs. ‘Money should follow the patient’ ignores the fact that money doesn’t put services in place unless they are planned. Money should ‘go ahead of the patient’ instead. Democratic control by the local community and frontline workers is necessary to ensure healthcare (rather than profit or political careers) remains the priority. We need democratically elected Community Health Councils and an Independent Agency of Public Health Promotion working with a responsible and accountable Dept of Health to coordinate an effective and efficient Health Service. ‘improvement’ in services should be approved democratically by. To deal with oversupply of lower quality care in the private sector, any useful Private facilities could be incorporated into the public system by nationalizing
People Before Profit have committed to work in con-junction with the Still Waiting Health Campaign to unite Trade Unions, Workers and Service-Users to fight for a better health service for all.