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Where’s the money?
It was encouraging to see a number of councillors appear at the North Yorkshire and York PCT board meeting this week.
They have been conspicuous by their absence at meetings over the last few years as the financial problems in our local heath economy have continued to mount.
By way of background, North Yorkshire and York have, in recent years, been the second and 13th lowest funded PCT on a per capita basis.
Compared with surrounding PCTs, according to the previous census, 38 per cent of our population were aged over 55. To the north, Teesside, to the west, Leeds, and to the east, Hull, rated at 31 per cent.
As patients age, so the healthcare bill increases. A rural population does not share the same efficiencies of urban populations which can sustain a higher patient:GP ratio.
Were these councillors putting pressure on a Labour government to change the funding formula so that North Yorkshire patients were not compromised?
Have coalition councillors influenced a change to fair funding for North Yorkshire?
For goodness sake, when Parliament debated the North Yorkshire health economy in December 2010, two local MPs did not attend.
William Hague could perhaps be expected to have been on affairs of state as Foreign Secretary but is there any excuse for Anne McIntosh not to have been there?
The PCT board will undoubtedly face pressure and criticism. That may be fair, it may not. No doubt these councillors will contribute to the pressure.
Let’s hear them explain why they have not been successful in obtaining fair funding for North Yorkshire patients.
Rex Negus, Tiplady Close, Easingwold