NHS workers protesting at the Conservative party conference in Manchester last October [Image: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images].

We have all known for many years that the Conservatives (on their own or as part of the Coalition) were cutting real-terms funding to the NHS. The only deniers were Tory propagandists like BBC News.

Today’s (January 21) story from The Guardian may be harder to dispute, as it relates NHS funding with that of other, developed, European countries, and shows that the service is being systematically de-funded, as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product, in comparison with the others.

What was it Noam Chomsky said about de-funding services? Here’s a reminder:

150601-chomsky-privatisation1

The part about making sure things don’t work may also apply to Jeremy Hunt’s disputed new contract for junior doctors.

Note also that the UK is once again being touted as the “sick” member of the European nations. Only under a Conservative government!

Britain’s spending on its health service is falling by international standards and, by 2020, will be £43bn less a year than the average spent by its European neighbours, according to research by the King’s Fund.

The UK is devoting a diminishing proportion of GDP in health and is now a lowly 13th out of the original 15 EU members in terms of investment, an analysis for the Guardian by the thinktank’s chief economist shows.

Prof John Appleby also found that the government’s decision to increase the NHS’s budget by far less than the anticipated growth in GDP meant the service would miss out on what would have been an extra £16bn by 2020.

Ministers highlight that they are giving the NHS in England an increasing share of overall government spending, ringfencing its budget and handing it annual increases totalling £8.4bn in real terms by 2020-21, despite very tight public finances.

But the King’s Fund figures have cast doubt on ministers’ repeated claims that they are giving the NHS generous cash settlements. Critics argue that Britain is becoming “the sick person of Europe” in terms of health spending because the sector receives one of the lowest levels of investment compared with many European countries, such as France and Germany.

Source: NHS funding is falling behind European neighbours’ average, research finds | Society | The Guardian

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