(Original post by medic_armadillo7)
Why does there need to be competition between hospitals? Lol, I love the fact that you're talking about something about that you haven't the foggiest about how it runs. I'm a 5th year medical student, and I've spent the last 6 years traipsing around NHS hospitals doing various jobs, etc and I'm still not completely in the know how the problems in the NHS, but what I can say is this, whilst the privatisation of hospital trusts isn't necessarily a bad thing, the privatisation of services that hospitals rely on, is completely absurd.
The main bulk of the problem is these consortiums, which are GP-led, will not have the expertise to deal with this. The old Strategic Health Authority had contracted or permanent employees, who were health economists or clinical staff who had subsequently trained in economic policy and finance. GPs have non of these qualifications, as by default they are trained to treat people.
Now some GPs, think that they are up to the task (namely because they stand to get extra money from it), and bear in mind that most GPs in the country are private registered UK practices who are given a budget from NHS pot by the government and whatever is left at the end of the year is kept by them. Others feel that they won't cope with juggling finance with seeing patients and so the option given to them is that they palm it off to a private company who puts in a bid for a tender to then charge/give hospitals a sum of money depending on how many people are referred/discharged from hospital, how the are referred/discharged and what they are referred/discharged for. Now, because it's a private company that dictates this, the onus is on them to make a profit, therefore the worry that even less money is put back into hospitals and more is kept by these private companies, thereby jeopardising the ability to provide healthcare to those that need it.
Doctors are against it because of the above and that even if it were to happen, it should be the NHS hospital trusts that decide, how the money is spent as they have the greater specialist expertise clinically and financially to deal with it.
Within the NHS atm, part of the reason why the situation is the way it is, is that non-clinical (at an executive and non-executive) level come in and broker deals with some company, that will sell them products at grossly marked up prices. I once worked with an Operating Theatre Manager who told me the price of 4 standard ink cartridges that you and I would at max spend (£20 per cartridge, so £80) were being sold to them for just short of £700 because the were tied into some tender with a certain office suppliers and the printers that had an RRP of ~£100 were being sold for £1000+. You have millions of pounds being given to several IT developers by each trust to develop a electronic database, but because non-of them liaise with one another you have huge inefficiencies, resulting in a computer system that doesn't work, even though they've this money, so in the last decade it's estimated that £12bn nationally has been wasted on this one failure, which is a lot considering for London maybe £2-3bn/year is spent on its healthcare, and this isn't taking into account other failures.
It's full of so many inefficiencies, and even at this point the NHS still has to pay for drugs, the cost of care and surgery. With the part-privatisation of the NHS, the danger is that it becomes a money pot for other companies. If such wasteful expenditures were addressed, I don't think we'd be in such a desperate situation.
The fact of the matter is clinicians and health professionals are really worried at Lansley's proposals to the point, now that they are unanimously rejecting it, and Lansley's, who is a lawyer by trade (turned politician) and has no experience of health economics or NHS affairs, should be listening to those who work within the NHS and run it, as opposed to coming in with some bulldozer and gung ho
This NHS system which is losing money and acquiring debts is analogous to an inefficient run down house losing heat. To fix that house, it is invariably cheaper to install double-glazing and fill in the cavity walls with insulation instead of bulldozing a house and building a new one.