Troops to pay for Health


Sad thing is - this isn't news.

The DMS have recognised the problem of treatment delays and have tried to find a number of solutions. Still waiting for a result..........

Incidentally. There is a scheme that aims to get 'quick fixes' for patients with acute, treatable diseases whereby the Army (not sure if inc other services) will pay for private treatment. It works on the logic that we are wasting money on a 'medically downgraded' soldier and that, if an operation would get them back to work quickly, it is economically sound to pay Bupa or whoever - they have worked out some deals with the private companies. I think it is called the 'Rapid Treatment Programme'. It might be worth asking the med cen about if you are or know of any suitable candidates. Not sure if it is available still but certainly was up to last year.


This rapid treatment programme only applies if you are an ATRA unit-so if you are an untrained and thus undeployable person you get treated fast-if like me you are trained and deployable you end up waiting (so far) 10 months and still no sign of a consultation appointment-fortunately my injury is not downgradable - merely painful!!


Not true!

I know a number of personnel treated under the scheme - all of them trained!

The theory is- if you are downgraded and so not deployable you are costing money when you cannot actually do your job.  The money is available for those persons with an injury that be quickly fixed by an op and a short recovery period. ie a chance to get you back to work 100% fit in a short space of time

eg if knee ligament needs fixing - quick op, relatively quick recovery to 100% fit - worth spending money. ;D
If however chronic back problem whereby op wont fix you, or would still require 18mths physio etc - not value for money, wont pay. :mad:

Harsh but valid.

If you are not downgraded you are therefore deployable and therefore earning your pay. No need to rush to fix you. Two Brufen and a tubigrip........................ :-*

There may be other reasons why you might not be eligible - I dont know all the details of the scheme, but it might be worth pushing at the med cen.


Just wait till we get a Labour Government in power...

1945-1951: Based on the tenets of the Beveridge Report, Labor proposes the creation of a "welfare state" as an alternative to a "warfare state." It nationalizes and centralizes comprehensive social security benefits, including unemployment, pensions, and free universal medical care. The 1948 British Nationality Act guarantees freedom of entry from the Commonwealth, boosting immigration to meet labor shortages.
I don't know where the press get this rubbish from!

Jezebel is fairly on the money with this - the Rapid Treatment Initiative is a scheme that is aimed at buying treatment to fix the fixable. It is tri-Service, not simply Army.

Where the barking idea that units have a fixed amount of money each for private healthcare, rationed by the CO, came from I really don't know.


War Hero
RR and J,

Yes with you on this.. . . . however my concern is that soldiers are seen by the SMO, and when referred to an MDHU to a civilian consultant for an injury that either makes or could make him/her non deployable; the soldier enters the NHS queue and it could be months before he/she is treated.

The difficulty is the grey area. Determining the implications of a probable injury can vary from SMO to SMO. They and the MDHU contract should err on the side of caution and fast track soldiers through their systems if there is any risk to the deployability of the soldier.

Views ?


Unfortunately the 'grey' areas are large!

I agree that determining the implications of an injury varies widely. My greatest concern is with the increasing use of civilian doctors many (not all) who do not understand that 'it's just an ankle injury.....' can be quite damning in the military world! Especially if Pte Bloggs then feels he has to complete his CFT the next day causing a relatively minor injury to become much worse..... I have seen it happen too often with long term consequences.

Clearly the same applies when an operation is required. Quite often the civilian docs again do not realise the significance of an injury on the employment/career of a soldier. Those eloquent enough might be able to explain the significance, the less eloquent lose out.

Please don't think I have a downer on civilian doctors! Mil docs can get it wrong too.  In fairness to the civilians, the military world is an unknown entity to them.  I have many civvie doc friends and a number of them are quite open about their lack of understanding of mil life - it's a different world as far as they are concerned!

So how do we ensure our guys get the treatment they need, in a timescale that prevents them being downgraded for a day longer than necessary? The PFI is one option, educating docs another. We could try and avoid using non-mdhu hospitals in order to maintain mil awareness. We could try and push for all service personnel to get to the top of NHS waiting lists. (At the expense of little old dear having waited 1yr for a hip op that keeps her bedbound?). We could ensure that patients reaching the top of a waiting list in one NHS authority dont lose that place when they get posted to another. Could we increase use of TPMH in Cyprus?

Uh Oh. Think I have gone on long enough!! I don't think there is a single quick solution and that many of the above could be used to help things along. The problem has been highlighted in a nice glossy brochure, issued last year (ref not available) and many people are on the case. Just waiting for results.....................


As always you sort out the wheat from the chaff in the press reports.

The Military Hospitals should not have been cut down to zero and in a major conflict the NHS would not be on its knees, but under the floorboards.

What few bodies you have are overstretched to the hilt, nothing new in that, but it appears to me, to be suffering from a severe case of beancounter overload and as now become counter productive.

The Pollies have a lot to answer for, you can't have your cake and eat it, but then they always do. :(


War Hero
The Military Hospitals should not have been cut down to zero and in a major conflict the NHS would not be on its knees,

Cutting the military hospitals is why there is the current crisis, and those letting the MDU contracts should have included a clause to fast track soldiers so that the military would not lose any capability. However they didn't ... and so we are where we are.

If there had been large scale casualties in Iraq that required treatment in the UK, then the NHS would have struggled. Triage would have meant that civilian waiting list would have significantly increased. Thankfully there were few casualties but the medical plan for a future crisis is causing many a concern as to how the NHS would cope without a major impact on the civilian community.

So how do we ensure our guys get the treatment they need, in a timescale that prevents them being downgraded for a day longer than necessary?

This is the multmillion $ question ! My view is soldiers to the front of the queue and we should amend MDHU contracts accordingly. There needs to be joined up government between ourselves and the Ministry of Health in order to solve the problem. This is cheapest and easiest option in my view but it will depend on the robustness of SofS for Defence's ability  to force the issue through.


Seeing as we seem to be providing the soldiers, could we not ask some of our continental chums to assist on the medical front?


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