I had a letter published in the Shropshire Star the other day:
Easy way of saving NHS cash in England
With all the talk of cutting services at the Princess Royal Hospital, it is worth bearing in mind a few things. Firstly, the English NHS has been underspending for the last few years by a considerable amount.
Spending on the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish NHS has increased considerably. Secondly, the Welsh government refuses to pay the going rate to English hospitals for treating Welsh patients – something that costs the NHS in Shropshire approximately £2m per year.
Thirdly, the Welsh are terrible payers – Oswestry hospital threatened to refuse to treate patients from Powys earlier this year because they wouldn’t pay their bills. A hospital in Bristol actually went as far as cancelling surgery for Welsh patients this year for the same reason.
The Welsh get free prescriptions and free hospital car parking yet we in England still subsidise their health service thanks to the Barnett Formula.
Why do our MPs allow £20bn a year flow over the border to subsidise spending in the rest of the UK? Shropshire’s hospitals could raise well over £2m a year by charging Welsh health boards the amount for treating their patients and penalising for overdue payments.
Tonight they printed a reply from another reader …
Rules for English are unfair
I agree with Stuart Parr’s letter (Shropshire Star, October 2). We English are very unfairly treated under the Barnett formula to the advantage of the other countries in the so-called United Kingdom.
Over the last few years this has become the “dis-united kingdom”. He asks why our MPs allow this disparity and all I can do is point out again that our Government is heavily Scottish-dominated. The other countries in the UK all have their own assemblies, but not the English.
The Scottish-dominated government will not even stop the Scottish, Welsh and Ulster MPs from voting on English-only matters in Westminster.
All this is very unfair to the English and even Barnett has stated so, but with the majority of English MPs being Conservative our current government is not going to change anything,
We can only hope to achieve parity after the next election and have our own parliament, or better still get rid of the other money-wasting and expense claiming assemblies.
Agree with every word right up until the second half of the last sentence.