2 thoughts on “The problem with “hidden agenda” accusations”

  1. Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:10 | Permalink

    The ‘Hidden Agenda’ argument is not a genuine concern. It’s just a convenient way for those who want to keep the NHS as a public sector monopoly organisation to try to discredit those who disagree with them.

    Of course, such people often have their own hidden agenda. Often they are diehard socialists opposed to private business in general (i.e. they support nationalisation of industry) and sometimes they are employed by the NHS and are just defending their own interests (the BMA’s hostility to private sector involvement is a good example of this).

  2. Posted 26/08/2019 at 14:01 | Permalink

    I was interested to read Dr. Niemez’s critique of the NHS and, in particular, his comparisons with health delivery in other developed countries. Britain has always seemed to be breathtakingly ignorant of overseas solutions to common problems. And it is perfectly true that the NHS has always been an unacknowledged system for rationing health care. However, I believe any valid review of UK health services has not only to identify where the service is failing but it has also to demonstrate that like is being compared with like. At the crudest level, percentage of national GDP spending on the service overall and on particular subsets of specialities would be needed to show that one method of delivery was superior to another. I find it unconvincing to complain about the poor showing of the NHS when little attempt is made to investigate the potential effect of increased expenditure. By all means, raise the potential for other options but only when it is clear that social medicine of the NHS nature does not, or cannot, provide a similar quality service for a similar price.
    It also remains problematic that the plethora of systems reviewed by Dr. Niemetz appear not to have revealed an outstandingly effective ‘front-runner’. This suggests that the author is more concerned about the illusory option of providing more choice than about the fundamental quality of the service being delivered. It seems strange to advocate the replacement of one sort of social health insurance by another – this would appear to be a distinction without a difference. Yes, a mandatory SHI scheme might allow different levels of ‘excess’ to be selected but is this really a key desirable in comparison with a unified, nationalised service? If everybody has a minimum level of health requirement, how far is it advantageous to provide this level of choice at the expense of increased administration for billing, recharging, overhead allocation, assessment etc. and, in some cases, shareholder profits?
    The discussion, of course, fundamentally rests on the left/right view of individual choice against community provision and perhaps in this case, whether individual choice in health services could be made sufficiently meaningful to overcome the advantages of central planning.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.