The tone of Alan W Sharp (Letters, 22 October) suggests he is smarting somewhat at the conclusions drawn by Professor Allyson Pollock on the likely implications the Westminster Health & Social Care Act of 2012 could have for the NHS in Scotland.
He dismisses them as “opinion, not fact, based on supposition and conjecture”.
When presented with “facts”, (ie “the 2012 Act effectively abolished the NHS in England as a universal service”; “future NHS services in England will be contracted to the market place”), Mr Sharp seems to think we should not draw any conclusions from this extraordinary act of the Westminster Parliament.
He seems to be in denial as to the implications these two “facts” could have for the NHS in Scotland.
Prof Pollock was correct in concluding that in abolishing the duty on the Secretary of State for Health to secure and provide comprehensive health care, this would mean public funding could be withdrawn and replaced by private funding.
Any future reduction in funding for England will translate through the Barnett formula to Scotland.
Prof Pollock’s reasoning is sound, just as the motives behind the act are clear to most of us.
It appears that regardless of how many facts and contrary opinions he is presented with, Alan Sharp is not to be persuaded that there are real fears regarding the funding of the NHS. So be it.
He tells us that funding and strategy for the NHS are fully devolved. Well, I think we all knew that.
Can he now share with us the benefit of his expertise in explaining, if privatisation in England is deemed to be non-public expenditure and the funding to Scotland is consequently cut, and when the austerity regime leads to another cut in the block grant, where exactly cuts to public spending should be made?