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Author Archives: Dave Byrne

How should we pay for the NHS? Last month, a cross-party coalition floated the idea of a hypothecated tax, a tax devoted to a specific purpose, as a way of funding the NHS. People like the NHS and would be willing to pay more tax if the tax was devoted to that purpose, so the argument goes. This proposal does the rounds from time to time. Often this special “NHS tax” is linked to National Insurance (NI), which after all already meets a proportion of health costs, and appears to be a tax that is already hypothecated towards benefits and […]
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There are currently proposals in the English NHS which involve the making available of patients’ health and social care records across the health service. This is now possible because these records are held in electronic form and can easily be duplicated and shared. One obvious advantage of such a process is that when people need treatment or care those delivering that treatment or care will be easily able to access the relevant records and draw on the information in them to tailor the treatment or care to the needs of the patient. However there are issues: Anonymity – when records are […]
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