This is the way the NHS ends… not with a bang, but with IVF

And so it begins.

Hospitals are reportedly offering cut-price deals on private IVF to desperate NHS patients: those who are unable to pay full whack Harley Street prices, or who are ineligible for the mysterious, highly varied post-code driven PCT criteria or who (perhaps due to advancing age) are unable to wait due to sheer blinding unhappiness.

Well done those managers. The ones who thought it would be a good second string of income for a hospital trust cash starved by private companies such as Virgin cherry picking off the easy operation like hernias – you remember, the ones that used to make the Foundation Trust budgets balance. So they weren’t written off as basket cases. Or sent to the naughty step aka ‘put in special measures’.

Well done those doctors. The ones who thought that by offering IVF at a discount to some in the NHS, that their other patients wouldn’t notice their own waiting list getting longer. Who didn’t stand up to the managers and say, hang on, this is unfair.

Yes, well done all of you for letting privatisation in by the back door. You are not the first to mention the P word in an NHS surgery – I know a doctor who finishes most consultations with the words ‘Or would you rather go privately for that?’ – aimed presumably at anyone middle class enough to look as though they can pay (through insurance or cash).  I’ve met consultants who recommend patients try expensive (private) alternative therapies rather than clutter their 18-week wait lists.

But now you most certainly won’t be the last. You have launched the two tier system.

From births to a death.

This is the way the NHS ends. Not with a bang, but IVF.


About the Author

Victoria Lambert has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and specialises in health and medical matters. She writes for the Telegraph, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Mail and the Mail on Sunday. She contributes to Saga, Geographical and First Eleven magazines – where she is the agony aunt.

View all posts by

Leave a Comment

comm comm comm