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NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers (Read 163,585 times)
SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #90 - Jun 10th, 2010 at 7:08pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 4:00pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:14pm:
Should taxpayer's money be used to provide free parking for all NHS hospital staff, patients and visitors? This would be extremely expensive for Central London hospitals and other places where the hospital does not have sufficient land of its own to use for the purpose.

But surely it always used to be free? I remember when my local hospitals never charged for parking. I also remember visiting my late mother in the Royal Free Hospital in London about 25 years ago and never had to pay to park in their car park. No, what has happened is that they have found a money making scam to screw their customers (patients and visitors) and now they would be in a bit of a hole without that source of revenue.

You may have found that there were plenty of spaces in the car park and free parking spaces available in the surrounding streets. Increased car ownership and use, and the measures taken to control the ill effects of this, are significant factors in explaining the difference between now and 25 years ago. To visit the old Royal Free site in Gray's Inn Road by car you would now have to pay the Congestion Charge - should that be refunded by the NHS?

"I remember when" I could park for free outside my own front door. That was less than 10 years ago. Others in the area could not park anywhere near their home, so they asked for and were given a residents only parking zone, for which we have to pay. (I am not happy with the process used to make these decisions, but that is a quite separate issue.)


Times have changed, in many ways for the worse. The core principles of the NHS however remain largely intact after 60 years. I seek to protect them by halting a creeping erosion. I fear that if we try to extend them, e.g. by adding a right to free parking for all patients and visitors, we may lose the more modest bit of ground that we are fighting to win back.

Money is tight, especially at present. I do not want those who manage hospital budgets for us to be forced into the position where they have to sell off the land presently used for public car parking because they are not allowed to use it in the way that any other landowner would. I have said before that I am fully in favour of potentially complex schemes to provide free or discounted parking for patients and visitors.

NHS Hospital sites, including their car parks, are public spaces (owned by us all). Free parking, as I believe it is applied in the "nations", means free for all. When there were fewer cars on the road there was generally no justification for parking charges, so there was no issue. Times have changed.


(Thanks for stimulating my thinking on this subject. I will put some further thoughts into a blog posting and provide a link when it is done.)

sherbert wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 4:32pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 10th, 2010 at 3:14pm:
I hope we can agree when I say that the cost of handling telephone calls to the NHS must fall (ultimately) on the taxpayer not on the patient. That is why use of revenue sharing numbers must be ceased.
The patient normally is a tax payer.

Yes. I hope the difference between the taxpayer and the patient paying is understood. This difference is fundamental to the concept of the NHS, indeed to the principles of taxation.

If there were no difference, as may be implied, why would there be a problem with use of revenue sharing, or indeed true premium rate, telephone numbers if they helped to raise money to pay for NHS services?
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Barbara
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #91 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 9:31am
 
Here, here sherbert! 

Re post 85, EVERYONE pays taxes, think eg VAT on goods & services.
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #92 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:32am
 
Barbara wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 9:31am:
Here, here sherbert!

Re post 85, EVERYONE pays taxes, think eg VAT on goods & services.

I may sometimes write at undue length, however I am confused by the brevity of the comments on this point.

The term "taxpayer" could be said to cover all citizens; there is no need to argue about that. The term is however normally used in this type of discussion, rather than "citizen", to imply some sort of consumer right proportionate to the amount that is paid for a service through taxation. Paying taxes that are due is but one of a citizen's many responsibilities, shared ownership of the NHS including treatment "free at the point of need" is but one of a citizen's rights. Clearly some particular point is being made by picking out this relationship between the two as if it had some special significance. I cannot understand what point is being made.

Is it being suggested that because there is no difference between "patients" and "taxpayers" it does not matter how NHS bodies cover the cost of their telephone systems and other costs? Is it equally acceptable to do this through use of revenue sharing telephone numbers, which indirectly impose a cost on patients, and charges on patients for car parking, as against revenue from the exchequer derived from taxation?
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« Last Edit: Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:34am by SilentCallsVictim »  
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #93 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:13pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:32am:
I may sometimes write at undue length,


That has got to be the understatement of the year.

In place of 'may sometimes ' substitute 'always'
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« Last Edit: Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:14pm by sherbert »  
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #94 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:35pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:13pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:32am:
I may sometimes write at undue length,


That has got to be the understatement of the year.

In place of 'may sometimes ' substitute 'always'

I am tempted to make an equally rude comment about "understatement", which is too kind a word to descibe postings that make no contribution whatsoever to the discussion.

Please will somebody explain the relevance (if any) of "taxpayer" = "patient" to this topic.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #95 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:46pm
 
Your post #85


I hope we can agree when I say that the cost of handling telephone calls to the NHS must fall (ultimately) on the taxpayer not on the patient.



What we are saying, they are one of the same.


postings that make no contribution whatsoever to the discussion.


Well, some of us will disagree with you on that. We make contributions as we see fit and not how you see fit.


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idb
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #96 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 1:24pm
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:46pm:
Your post #85


I hope we can agree when I say that the cost of handling telephone calls to the NHS must fall (ultimately) on the taxpayer not on the patient.



What we are saying, they are one of the same.
Not necessarily. Those without UK residency are entitled to some NHS services at no cost. Outpatient A&E is one example. I am not a UK taxpayer. I am not a UK resident. I could be classed as a patient but not a taxpayer.
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sherbert
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #97 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 1:34pm
 
Not at all as Barbara said in her post #91 everyone pays taxes, when you come over to this country you are paying taxes (for example VAT).
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #98 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 2:12pm
 
Perhaps it would help comprehension if I repeated my postings one sentence at a time.
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:32am:
The term "taxpayer" could be said to cover all citizens; there is no need to argue about that.

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #99 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 2:13pm
 
Perhaps it would help comprehension if I repeated my postings one sentence at a time.
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:32am:
Is it being suggested that because there is no difference between "patients" and "taxpayers" it does not matter how NHS bodies cover the cost of their telephone systems?

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #100 - Jun 11th, 2010 at 7:08pm
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 6:58pm:
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 6:54pm:
The topic of GPs using 084 numbers was raised in the Scottish Parliament yesterday -
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2010-06-10.27207.0&s=084+OR+0844+OR+0845#g2....

Ms Sturgeon has been reminded that the same principle applies to all NHS providers.

As well as NHS 24, it also applies to other NHS providers in Scotland, including hospitals.

I look forward to a possibly interesting discussion about whether English and Scottish taxpayers and NHS patients represent one, two, three or four distinct groups. I say two, but perhaps not the same two that others may be thinking of.
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« Last Edit: Jun 11th, 2010 at 7:08pm by SilentCallsVictim »  
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idb
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #101 - Jun 12th, 2010 at 1:22am
 
sherbert wrote on Jun 11th, 2010 at 1:34pm:
Not at all as Barbara said in her post #91 everyone pays taxes, when you come over to this country you are paying taxes (for example VAT).
It seems somewhat absurd to assert that every patient treated by the NHS has also contributed to the UK tax system, either through income, value added, or indeed through any other taxation mechanism. There will be situations where patients will not be, nor have ever been, UK taxpayers. A Venn diagram with a region showing NHS patients and another showing NHS patients who have "paid tax" will have a large intersection, but not a 100% correlation. Therefore we can conclude that not all patients are taxpayers.

Nevertheless, I am unclear as to the relevance of this particular point wrt telephone numbering. I simply wish to address an incorrect assertion.
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« Last Edit: Jun 12th, 2010 at 1:27am by idb »  

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #102 - Jun 12th, 2010 at 1:51am
 
idb wrote on Jun 12th, 2010 at 1:22am:
I am unclear as to the relevance of this particular point wrt telephone numbering. I simply wish to address an incorrect assertion.

Can you not provide any helpful comment on the relevant point with reference to taxation, which is about whether there is any difference between the cost of providing NHS services (e.g. the switching system needed to support incoming telephone calls) being met by "taxpayers" or "patients"? I believe that most people would understand the difference, without having to consider the tax-paying status of the patient, and I cannot see how any genuine confusion could arise.
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #103 - Jun 12th, 2010 at 2:01am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Jun 12th, 2010 at 1:51am:
idb wrote on Jun 12th, 2010 at 1:22am:
I am unclear as to the relevance of this particular point wrt telephone numbering. I simply wish to address an incorrect assertion.

Can you not provide any helpful comment on the relevant point with reference to taxation, which is about whether there is any difference between the cost of providing NHS services (e.g. the switching system needed to support incoming telephone calls) being met by "taxpayers" or "patients"? I believe that most people would understand the difference, without having to consider the tax-paying status of the patient, and I cannot see how any genuine confusion could arise.
I'm not sure whether I can provide any helpful comment at all, and I would also suggest that most people would indeed understand the difference between a patient and a taxpayer, however it appears that there is a possible misunderstanding of this point within this thread. The status of "paying tax" should be irrelevant when concerned with delivering patient services at a given time of need. The NHS is funded by 'the taxpayer' and provides a service to 'patients'. They are not necessarily one and the same, not should there be any requirement for such concurrence.
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« Last Edit: Jun 12th, 2010 at 2:02am by idb »  

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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: NHS hospitals on 0844 rip-off numbers
Reply #104 - Jun 12th, 2010 at 2:14am
 
Perhaps I see things too simply. If a feature of a non-geographic number is thought necessary for the delivery of a NHS service, with a 03 number the taxpayer pays for it, with a 084 number the patient pays for it. I cannot understand what grounds those who cannot see the difference may have for being concerned about use of 0844 numbers in the NHS, or indeed having any concern for the NHS.
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