"How can the newer NHS hospitals compete?" someone asked on a website forum.
How indeed; but, more to the point, why are we even considering competition when it comes to the provision of medical treatment and care. Health, education, social services, why the hell are we still striving for competition in these areas of social welfare.
It's bad enough trying to run areas such as public transport competitively. They told us the old British Rail system was inefficient, too costly to the public. So, they smashed the system to smithereens, all in the name of efficient competition, and sold it to be privately run. 15-years ago the publicly run rail system cost the country £1B to run; today that figure has risen fivefold to an incredible £5B! Fares in the UK are also the highest in Europe.
That's competition for you.
Forcing hospitals to compete with one and other for patients is obscene. When a hospital fails to successfully compete they attract financial penalties. How on earth can a hospital, invariably in a poor and deprived area, be expected to compete after it's lost some of its funding to fines for not being competitive enough!
What next; bombing countries for peace?