Privatisation of a business is when it is brought from
public ownership to private ownership. A business which has been recently
privatised is the NHS and this has had a significant impact upon the economy. This
impacts the UK in several ways, some being positive impacts and some being negative.
When a company is privatised, the owner is then able to receive the profit
generated by the business or industry.
an advantage of a privatised business is that it is usually made to be more
efficient than it was before and this could possibly be because it is down to
the owner of the business and his strategies to generate profit. Also, their
aim to reduce costs and improve on their profit would ensure that they would
put their utmost effort in to increase production and quality of service.
Another benefit of privatisation upon the economy is that their quality of
service and production is severely boosted due to their goal of exceeding their
competitors. This is also mainly because they are no longer under any form of
protection by the government which means they must strive to adapt to their
environment and their competitors. This would be of good use to the economy as better-quality
service will ensure they are satisfied.
a potential disadvantage of privatisation is that whilst service quality may
increase, the sole incentive of the now private business/industry would be to
generate as much profit as they can instead of prioritising the customers
satisfaction or expectations. This may not directly impact the economy but
prioritising profit over the satisfaction of the customers would be unethical.
A well-established business which has been privatised is royal mail. Royal mail
is an industry which provides postal services and was founded in 1516.
There are a few arguments which support and encourage the
privatising of the NHS as well as there being arguments opposing the
privatisation of the NHS.
According to Thomas Cawston ‘The patient will not be aware of the cost
of a service when choosing treatment because they will not be paying for the
service; therefore, the decision is truly dependent on quality and not price
encouraging all companies to provide high quality care.’
This statement, supporting privatisation, indicates that when a patient of
the NHS is picking a treatment for his or herself, that they need not to worry
about the price nor do they have to select treatments in accordance with their
budget. This then means that the sole factor influencing their treatment choice
is not the price, but the quality of treatment which is a good thing for the
patients and those within the economy.
A statement opposing privatisation was made by Stephen hawking which said that good healthcare can only be
delivered if the NHS is ‘publicly funded
and publicly run’. This means that the without the intervention and support
of the government along with their funding, efficient delivery of satisfactory
healthcare cannot be done if it is privatised.
The Kings Fund (company) in support
of the privatisation of the NHS stated that ‘Healthcare is not compromised’
regardless of anyone making a profit from it. They are supporting privatisation
by saying that whether the NHS Is privatised or not, it would still deliver the
same level of healthcare as privatising the NHS will not affect the ‘quality of care’, as they put it.
Debbie Abrahams contributed by making
a claim which opposed The Kings Fund as
she did not agree with the fact that healthcare is not affected by
privatisation. She claimed that there is sufficient evidence which states that ‘privatising medical services impedes the
quality of service offered’ and by that she meant that the NHS would not be
able to deliver efficient service if they were privatised. She also went on to
say that there would be an increase in ‘hospital
rates and mortality levels’ which simply would mean that privatising the
NHS would lead to higher death rates as well as more hospital cases.
The Conservatives, in favour of
privatisation, said that the NHS has always been ‘made up of hundreds of thousands of different organisations’ and
this to them means that privatising the NHS would not have a significant impact
as they have already have many individual private organisations helping and
supporting them as well as making them what they are.
Opposing privatisation, Oliver Huitson
argues that by privatising the NHS, revenue is instantly prioritised over
patients and that patients are no longer at the ‘centre of care’. This is because of them now having to compete with
other businesses due to them being privatised which therefore means they, as a
private business, must strive to make as much profit as they can whilst
exceeding their competitors. She also goes on to say that privatisation tends
to be opposed by the public due to the fact of them striving to become a ‘fantastic business’ instead of an
efficient public healthcare system.
The 2 parties and the individual who support the privatisation of the NHS are
convinced that it is beneficial and a good thing upon the economy and the
public. They provide straight points and clearly explain that the impact of privatisation
could open more choices and opportunities for better and more selective
treatments compared to the NHS system being a public-owned system. Aside from
focusing solely on the NHS, a supporting party had claimed that a business
being privatised can still generate and acquire profit without sacrificing
efficiency and quality. Additionally, privatisation not only grants a lot more
options for its patients but it also allows them to select their treatments
worry-free as their choice of treatments is based on preference rather than
budget. Overall the supporting parties are in favour of privatisation as they
believe that it will be of great support to the economy, the public and
especially the patients of the NHS. They claim that their quality of service
will increase and their treatments and wellbeing will be cared for and majorly
taken into consideration. Competition between each other would also mean that
each healthcare business within the NHS would strive to be better thus creating
more options and maximising choices for patients.
As for the 3 Individuals opposing the privatisation of the NHS, they too
provide well explained points as to why the NHS should remain a public
healthcare system rather than a private one. If the NHS were to be publicly run
and funded, it is said that good healthcare can be efficiently provided. This
statement was said to be collected from ‘international
comparisons’. Most of the criticisms aimed at privatisation of the NHS
state that delivery of efficient healthcare is not likely because private
businesses tend to prioritise profit and revenue income over patients. The
opposing parties also agree that privatisation would affect and have a drastic effect
on service quality, not to mention that hospital rates and mortality levels
would increase. It is said that the public commonly oppose privatisation
because it makes a public healthcare system switch from prioritising patients
and service, to a system which focuses on delivering good service for the sole
purpose of generating revenue rather than taking the public and patients into
Overall both sides of the argument provide valid and understandable points as
to why the NHS should, and shouldn’t be privatised.
From my own view, I personally believe that the NHS should
NOT be privatised. This has been my view prior to any research conducted. My
reason for choosing to keep the NHS as a public healthcare system is because as
a public system, it would be publicly funded thus allowing the NHS to focus on
its patients over profit whilst taking their preferences and opinions into
consideration. Were it to remain a public healthcare system, its quality of
service would not be hindered by any form of change and it would also deliver
the same efficient healthcare as it always has. However, I did accumulate a
great amount of knowledge from the research I undertook as to why the NHS
should be privatised and how it would be beneficial upon the public, the
economy and the patients of the NHS. It stated points such as options would be
maximised for patients and that more opportunities and effective treatments
would be opened and available to them. Not to mention that along with
privatisation, comes competition and this would mean that by healthcare
businesses within the NHS competing, it would allow them to try to better their
services and ensure higher quality service is delivered as well as provide more
choices and treatments. An interesting point I came across was a statement
which supported privatisation and it claimed that private healthcare would
prioritise their patients and allow them to choose their treatments based on
preferences and quality rather than the price of the treatment and their
budget. This would be beneficial to the economy as it will allow them not to
stress about specific treatments which they may or may not be able to afford.
However, despite this, my opinion of why the NHS should not be privatised is
final and will not change. It will effectively function better as a public
service and will also be publicly funded whilst acknowledging the voices of its