Fraud and waste in British National Health Service
Between $10 billion and $14 billion of the British National Health Service budget is lost through waste, fraud and inefficiency,according to a recent report. Stuart Emslie, a risk control expert at the Department of Health, told a meeting of health experts last month that between 16 percent and 20 percent of the government's $77 billion annual budget was being lost. Between $1.4 billion to $4.3 billion are lost through fraud such as patients falsely claiming free prescriptions=20 and dentists charging for treatment not carried out.
Among the losses:
Almost $3 billion are lost because of "bed blocking" by elderly people who do not need acute care but cannot be discharged because they have nowhere to go.
Almost $3 billion go to sick pay and agency nurses40 percent of the sickness being caused by back injuries to nurses who tried to lift patients incorrectly.
Just under $1.5 billion is required to treat hospital-acquired infections.
The annual losses more than wipe out the extra $7.2 billion a year which the Treasury would need to pump into the NHS to meet the prime minister's pledge to match average spending on health in other European countries.
Source: Rosie Waterhouse and David Cracknell Fraud and Waste Cost NHS =A37bn a Year, Sunday Times, December 2, 2001.
For text (requires free registration) http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/article/0,,9003-2001555077,00.html
For more on National Health http://www.ncpa.org/iss/hea/
FMF Policy Bulletin\19 December 2001
Publish date: 02 January 2002
The views expressed in the article are the author’s and are not necessarily shared by the members of the Foundation.