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The tax-payers are the biggest losers of all

17 Apr 2007 - JG

I haven't mentioned the NHS for a while, but it was always going to come back. So here goes - the National Health Service's £12.4 billion national computer system. It's not a particularly new story, but confirmation of what we all feared has come out yesterday from the Commons public accounts committee. If there was a "Loser of the Year" award for the worst conceived policy or project, the NHS IT system would win hands down. This is a true scandalous waste of public resources and money, yet I fear it may get swept under the carpet while the tabloid guns are pointed at Des Browne and Gordon Brown. The Committee has warned that patients are "unlikely" to see any "significant clinical benefits" from the new IT system. £12.4bn on absolutely nothing - makes Brown selling off all our gold on the cheap seem insignificant. Imagine a private sector firm throwing away £12.4bn? It just could not and would not happen. Why do we trust these incompetent fools to throw away our money like this with relatively no consequences for those responsible? £12.4bn could go a long way to actually sorting out some of the serious problems the NHS has already.

Edward Leigh, the committee's chairman has said "-This is the biggest IT project in the world and it is turning into the biggest disaster. This report is a massive wake-up call to the highest reaches of Government. It goes right to Cabinet level-." Then heads should roll. Why are the Tories so upset by Des Browne's poor performance over Iran when the root problem there was Royal Navy itself and some pretty poor performances on the part of our armed forces - so what? That really is insignificant to this and it should be on the front pages with all the opposition parties and back-benchers demanding answers. £12.4bn of our money - the Government's Health policy is a clear loser, this IT project is a clear loser but unfortunately the biggest losers of all are the tax payers.

Topics: Health
Organisations: UK DoH

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