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'Put GMC number on your scripts'

From Dr Kailash Chand

Ashton-under-Lyne

Lancashire

The scale of Labour's spending on the NHS has been extraordinary. In 1997/8 its budget was £34 billion; in the current year it is £69 billion ­ more than double in eight years.

Even after allowing for inflation, spending is up by 70 per cent.

By 2007/8 NHS spending will be £90 billion and Tony Blair will be close to fulfilling the pledge he made five years ago to lift health spending in Britain to the European Union average.

While voters are aware of some improvements, productivity in the health service has suffered a steady decline from 1995 to 2003.

The analysis by the Office for National Statistics suggests the slide in efficiency means that while the real resources pumped in to the NHS over this eight-year period have risen by up to 39 per cent, its output of services to patients has increased by just 28 per cent.

From Dr Kailash Chand

Ashton-under-Lyne

Lancashire

The scale of Labour's spending on the NHS has been extraordinary. In 1997/8 its budget was £34 billion; in the current year it is £69 billion ­ more than double in eight years.

Even after allowing for inflation, spending is up by 70 per cent.

By 2007/8 NHS spending will be £90 billion and Tony Blair will be close to fulfilling the pledge he made five years ago to lift health spending in Britain to the European Union average.

While voters are aware of some improvements, productivity in the health service has suffered a steady decline from 1995 to 2003.

The analysis by the Office for National Statistics suggests the slide in efficiency means that while the real resources pumped in to the NHS over this eight-year period have risen by up to 39 per cent, its output of services to patients has increased by just 28 per cent.

If the health service were still as efficient as it was in 1995, it could achieve the same results for patients this year with a budget £6 billion lower than the £69.4 billion it will actually receive.

Tony Blair reckons his reforms generally don't go far enough. On the contrary, his health reforms go much too far.

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