19 Nov 2009

NICE (sarcasm)

Is quite tragic that we live in a country that justifies the cost effectiveness over quality of service.

The leading example today, of course, the medication that could prolong the life of liver cancer patients has been rejected by the NICE committee on the grounds that it is not cost-effective.

I refer to the BBC in my link because it provides a nice bite sized chunk of the arguments being bandied around. If you want to know more about the arguments you can attempt to read the papers, but the premise is much the same. Nexavar is simply too expensive.

The figures provided by the NICE executive on the Today programme on BBC Radio Four do you indicate a rather ludicrously high level of spending. It medication prolongs the life of the liver patient three year, we can assume that it will cost a minimum of £36,000 to supply the drug alone. When taking into account that we will also have to supply pain medication, potentially further radiotherapy, benefits and a care service. when the person finally succumbs to the disease, there is a chance of the necessary procedure to supply funeral costs, court costs to resolve will disputes and at the same time the government is not earning any tax revenue from this person.

This is ultimately the "business case" that I would imagine the NICE committee discussed at length before deciding that spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on TV one person alive three year when they could dispose of the responsibility Far swifter by refusing to supply the medication.

Sadly, people suffering from terminal liver cancer are not the only ones to the subject of this standard of quantifiable cost versus benefit the public services in this country run on. These one of the lateral effects are they "target culture" taken from the private sector that fails to address the purpose and in need of the public sector.

Other services subject to this ludicrous decision on social care include the Crown Prosecution Service, where they will not prosecute unless there is a 99% chance of conviction otherwise it would be a waste of money. After all, public safety is not a target of the CPS.

Another example would be sheltered accommodation, as mentioned in my previous post. Councils will remove Resident wardens who provide companionship, support, maintenance and help prevent emergency situations for over 2000 people in one borough and replace the 13 permanent resident wardens with one travelling warden to cover and nearly 800 mi.² area.

We need a return in this country to public services being for the public

Not simply to cut corners so that ministers can be paid more, pen pushers can be given bonuses or on local levels rubbish recycling collections can be reduced.

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