The media are today reporting that the Conservative Party’s next great idea for health is to ensure that all children under 5 years old have free dental checks at a cost of £17 million.
My first thought is where is this money going to come from? It is muted that it will be covered by existing NHS spending, I can’t see this working without other services for less vocal groups being cut, given the financial mess of the NHS.
Secondly, the next Conservative government must move away from such prescriptive measures. It is time that people are encouraged to take some personal responsibility.
Surely, the conservatives can see that over the past sixty years the top down rationale of the NHS has not worked. We have some of the worst health statistics for obesity, teenage pregnancy, cancer cure rates, MMR take up, heart disease and so on, all s0-called public health campaigns that governments have previously embraced. So why is it still assumed that this model will improve the state of our children’s teeth?
Rather than promoting the continuance of the Nanny State it is time that the conservatives look at options such as Health Savings Accounts, as described here by the Adam Smith Institute, to give people responsibility for their own health and health care.