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PMI firms reject claim of no place in NHS reform

Private medical insurers have waded into the debate over healthcare funding, rejecting Chancellor Gordon Brown&#39s claim that there is no role for insurers in NHS reform.

Insurers are disappointed by the apparent conclusions reached by the Treasury-commissioned report, Securing our Future Health, Taking a Long-Term View, that increased taxation is the best way to pay for healthcare.

Providers say the report does not consider that consumers want choice in their healthcare options, which only the private sector can provide.

In his pre-Budget statement last week, Chancellor Gordon Brown said former NatWest chief executive Derek Wanless had concluded in his report that public funding was the way forward for the NHS.

But Wanless says that, contrary to the implication of the Chancellor&#39s statement, he has not ruled out other methods of funding healthcare, including a role for the private sector, and emphasised that the report is only an interim one.

The debate was further stirred up when Prime Minister Tony Blair said in the House of Commons that there were other funding options.

PPP Healthcare spokesman Ben Faulkner says: “It is nonsense to maintain that private funding systems have a weak incentive for cost control. The failure to deliver value for money services to customers results in the ultimate sanction – going out of business.”

Bupa insurance managing director Fergus Kee says: “We were disappointed the report seemed to reach the conclusion that there is no role for the private sector in the future provision of healthcare.”


UK banks lose out as US giant collapses

Several UK banks, including Abbey National and Barclays, have suffered losses of tens of millions of pounds due to the collapse of US energy giant Enron.Abbey, the UK&#39s second-biggest mortgage lender and owner of Scottish Mutual and Scottish Provident, admitted this week that it has been forced to write off £95m of the £115m it […]

ABI aims to head off commission attack by Sandler

The ABI is examining propo-sals for a disclosure regime based on benchmarked or average commission in a bid to seize the initiative before the Sandler review forces the industry&#39s hand.Papers seen by Money Marketing from the ABI&#39s life insurance committee suggest “the commission offered by various providers on the same product might be disclosed, perhaps […]

Davies hints at radical change as he savages &#39toothless&#39 PIA

FSA chairman Howard Davies has rubbished the PIA&#39s record, labelling it costly, ineffective, intrusive, oppressive, toothless and inadequate while tipping radical change to polarisation.Providers say radical reform is now more likely contrary to expectations following the FSA&#39s open meeting in October when the head of polarisation review David Severn appeared to favour gap-filling over multi-ties.Davies, […]

Britannic warning on annuity transfers

Britannic Retirement Solutions is predicting that the removal of mortality cross-subsidy from annuities would need returns to increase by between 1 per cent and 4.4 per cent.Research from BRS illustrates that if the Government allows transferability between annuity providers, they face cutting £11,000 off the lifetime income of the average male age 65. The provider […]

Harris Associates' view on the UK’s vote to leave the EU

By David Herro, Partner, Deputy Chairman, Portfolio Manager and Chief Investment Officer of International Equity at Harris Associates Britain’s vote to exit the European Union has led to significant uncertainty across global markets. We believe market impact of this uncertainty, though severe, is more of a shorter-term phenomenon which will provide an opportunity for long-term […]


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