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#GPnews: Thatcher tried to bring in compulsory private health insurance system

15:15 For those of you not lucky enough to be there, there are a few pictures of the General Practice Awards flying around on social media. Professor Graham Watt, the founder of Deep End GPs, a group that furthers the cause of deprived practices, won a lifetime achievement award. You can also read an interview with him here.

11:30 The number of GPs in Sunderland has decreased by 25% since 2013, a local MP has found.

Bridget Phillipson, who requested figures from the DH, found that the number of full-time equivalent GPs in the NHS Sunderland CCG area has fallen from 201 in September 2013 to 154 in March this year, the Sunderland Echo reports.

GP practices in the CCG area have on average more than 1,800 registered patients to one FTE GP – significantly more than the average for England.

9:40 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was secretly trying to drive through plans to introduce compulsory private health insurance despite a public pledge to protect the NHS, private Treasury papers released by the National Archives reveal.

The Guardian report s that the papers, from former chancellor Sir Geoffery Howe’s office, show plans to dismantle major public services were being worked on in private, even after a cabinet rebellion at the 1982 Conservative Party Conference when part of the plans were leaked.

Mrs Thatcher claimed publicly to be ‘horrified’ at the suggestion, and historically pledged ‘the NHS is safe with us’, but the most recent papers show that two months later the plans were still being worked on and included proposals for charges for state schooling, and a system of private medical facilities.

Seen something interesting? Email newsdesk@pulsetoday or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews

Readers' comments (11)

  • Nothing has changed about the Conservative Party and the contempt it has for normal people since Bevan's famous quote in 1948.
    It carries on today.

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  • Hunt is the new upgraded version of Thatcher....fully loaded and ready to "terminate the NHS".

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  • Tories hate the NHS . Always have ,always will . Even Hunts and Hannan's pamphlet direct democracy -called the NHS a sixty year old mistake. (page 72) .

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  • "Our ambition should
    be to break down the barriers between private and public provision,
    in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain" direct quote from page 78 of Direct Democracy. It has always been the goal of the reforms to push the NHS to the brink and then offer a Knight on a white horse of private provision. The Business model of the NHS is unworkable and not fit for purpose. The problem is untangling the internal market and PBR etc. There is no solution other than honesty about how much it costs then ask the public what they are willing to pay. Politicians will say and do anything to be re-elected as proved with Brexit and Trump so we cannot allow the NHS to collapse because of political interference in the funding.

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  • Theresa is the new Maggie

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  • The problem for all countries, regardless of Political parties, is the dire state of the world economy. Debt has never been higher. Austerity has been pushed on the UK, but is now increasingly taking place across the world. The issue is that health and social care costs will become higher and higher. So countries try to deliver more for less financial input as they are all essentially bankrupt. We all blame central and retail banks, but regardless we are still bust. Could health care ever be largely automated - apps, protocols? Could social care be automated - robots? That is the wish of all Politicians. Not really possible, in my view. What is more likely is we are in for the world's worse financial collapse of stocks, shares, bonds, house prices, pensions. After several years of hell and social unrest things will gradually get back to normal

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  • Strange how so many right on people love Europe yet reject the one thing Europe does better than us (objectively) - healthcare.
    Newsflash - doctors and nurses can provide good quality healthcare when not working for the state.

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  • These kids from rich backgrounds are completely apathetic to the plight of ordinary British citizens because their dubious wealth and private health insurances renders them immune to the ruin of NHS which is free of cost. Their only aim is to get rich by plundering their own people and the NHS.

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  • @12.39
    Newsflash right back at you- doctors and nurses can provide good quality health care when adequately funded by the state- and better value than private.

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  • @3.01pm
    The Laffer curve in an international world is against you, and history does not support the notion that we will get a well funded NHS any time soon. If you wish to support a fantasy NHS go ahead, but more money is needed for healthcare and in many European countries this happens via patients.
    £8 billion is spent on UK general practice. £7 billion is spent on UK hairdressing. I suspect patients could contribute a bit.

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