Does this count as a form of death panel, or just greed("Doctors, decide who you think is worth saving, and get a bonus!")?
Ministers have been urged to ban schemes which pay GPs financial bonuses for reducing referrals to hospital – including cases of suspected cancer.
The calls come amid growing criticism of the NHS initiatives, which doctors have described as “abhorrent, risky and misguided.”
Labour’s new shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander last night called on ministers to “review the impact and extent” of these schemes “as a matter of urgency”.
The 'impact' is people dying because the doctor got a bonus to NOT refer them for testing. Got to keep those hospital costs down for the good of all, y'know.
An investigation yesterday revealed that practices are being paid up to
£11,000 under schemes to reduce referrals to hospitals, some of which
involve cutting referrals for suspected cancer.
That's just wonderful, isn't it? "Cheaper to pay doctors to decide who dies than to treat those people, after all."
The schemes appear to fly in the face of a recently announced NHS Cancer
Strategy, which promised an 80 per cent increase in tests for cancers,
in a bid to improve survival Research by Pulse magazine has revealed
nine parts of the country offering such schemes.
Apparently the other parts are offering the "Who is worth saving?" payments.
They include NHS North-East Lincolnshire CCG, which is offering the
average practice the equivalent of more than £6,000 to reduce outpatient
referrals - including urgent cancer referrals - to the same level as
the 25 per cent of practices with the lowest referral rates in 2014/15.
I repeat: wonderful, isn't it, what we have to look forward to?
Of course, it's insisted that this isn't a REAL problem...
A spokeswoman insisted that the figures quoted were the absolute
maximum a practice could earn, and that in order to show significant
improvements, they would have to completely overhaul how patients were
"It's not a real problem, that's just the MAXIMUM a practice can earn for leaving people to a miserable death."
Dame Barbara Hakin, national director for commissioning
operations at NHS England, said: "The number of patients referred to
hospital for urgent cancer checks is up by over 600,000 over the past
five years, and we now want it to go up even more, so as to diagnose
suspected cancers earlier.
Assuming the number quoted is correct, and the intent, why the hell pay doctors NOT to refer patients?
"NICE has set out evidence based guidelines for when patients should be
referred, and no CCG incentive scheme should in anyway cut across that.
We are in touch with each of the CCGs mentioned to ensure that this is
very clearly communicated to all practices.”
'no scheme SHOULD cut across that'... so why the hell are you PAYING DOCTORS NOT TO REFER PATIENTS IN THE FIRST PLACE?