The services available on the NHS are limited. It makes sense to offer private alternatives for vaccines, treatments, medication and so forth in parallel on a private basis. For example: Eligibility definitions for some vaccinations is narrow because the NHS cannot afford to vaccinate everybody, hence puts the focus on the ones most at risk (i.e. age brackets). Still, everybody benefits from good overall vaccine coverage in the population. There must be an option to receive vaccines (treatments, medication) if the patient so wishes and is willing to pay for it privately. The same applies to a range of treatments and prescriptions. It reduces the cost burden for the NHS, works beneficially for the whole population and reduces risks associated with gaps in treatments, vaccinations and so forth. It is ridiculous when patients have to resort to importing their own medication from abroad for self-administering only because the NHS doesn't issue a private prescription. Also, given that the NHS is financially in dire straits, such income sources should be appreciated and not dismissed on ideological grounds. Whilst for patients on mainland Scotland, there are private alternatives and additional options, none of them exist in the isles or in remote rural communities. It feels as if patients in those regions were not treated as mature persons. They are deprived of making decisions and they are lacking choices. This nonsense must end. Personally I experienced waning immunity against a range of pathogens over the years (since moving to the isles) because boosters (for vaccines routinely available in continental European countries) were not even available privately.
Private health care generally doesn't exist in rural areas as there isn't enough demand to make it financially viable and a consequence of choosing to live in a rural area. There is a real threat to dispensing GP practices from the private sector. About 9% of GP practices are dispensing, all by definition are remote and rural areas without a pharmacy so they provide an important community service. They also cross subsidise the GP practice and are an essential part of rural GP funding - there are multiple examples of GP practices that have closed or lost their GPs if a pharmacy moves into town. The threat now is from private online pharmacy services - post your prescription and they will post your medicines back. Private undermines rural NHS
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