Thursday 3 October 2013

Question to Jeremy Hunt at RCGP conference 2013 (Harrogate)

Following the speech of Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, to RCGP conference, I asked him how he planned to control demand. Some might say his government and the preceding Labour government have done nothing but fuel demand for NHS resources.

This was the question I posed:

Improving access, awareness and screening programmes may have been very well intentioned but requires patients to compete for resources, and benefits providers paid for activity (and their shareholders) disproportionately. 

Health education to empower self care, strengthening of support networks and meeting social needs have great potential to improve access to healthcare by reducing demand. 

What policies will the government introduce to control demand and ensure NHS resources are concentrated on those most likely to benefit?
He answered with reference to self care of chronic diseases (diabetes). I liked his use of the term "normally well"; I would have preferred to hear how he planned to spend less on them rather than more.

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