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By Marc Shoffman | Published Jul 04, 2012

MP calls for joined-up thinking on healthcare

Speaking at the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries’ private healthcare summit in London, Stephen Dorrell MP said the care system must reflect the new type of demand from NHS patients.

Mr Dorrell said: “We are no longer talking about the prime demand on the NHS being people who come in with a condition and walk out cured.

“We now have a system supporting people who have more than one condition, are getting old or are suffering from a range of conditions from which they won’t necessarily be cured. The system now provides an extended quality of life from extended medical intervention.”

He said the care system should be managed in the same way as other economic activity.

Mr Dorrell added: “The care process should be repackaged to use modern technology in a way that meet demands being placed on it.

“That is where private-sector solutions have a role. I am firmly committed to access to care being driven by need and not by ability to pay, but that does not mean the delivery shouldn’t change.

“Those who are spending taxpayer pounds need to be rethinking how they deliver care to meet rising demand from the limited resources they have, that are growing more slowly than in the past.

“They ought, like any public sector purchase, to be looking for new solutions that are joined up for people who use it and those who pay for it.”

Dave Penny, managing director of Somerset-based Invest Southwest, said: “PMI products are practically impossible to compare. There are so many variables and no benchmarks. That renders it impossible for individuals or advisers to compare the market. That is the biggest problem. There are lots of tied PMI salesmen, and that is almost the only role that is viable.”

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