The National Health Service (NHS) is regarded fondly by many people in UK. Although not perfect, it is there when people are ill, when they need help and support when they are most vulnerable. The UK Conservative and Liberal-Democrat – ConDem – coalition government intends to abolish the NHS through privatisation while pretending to reform it and give users more control.
The UK has traditionally had a mixed economy – services provided by public and private bodies. The public institutions traditionally provided infrastructure such as health, council housing, transport and postal services.
The role of the public sector has been diminishing in recent decades under successive Conservative governments’ pursuing the evil ideology or dogma of privatisation. The previous openly Conservative government of Thatcher, etc privatised UK’s train service. Tony Blair was a Conservative – acually a Neo-Con or Crypto-Fascist – pretending to be a Labour party politican. He introduced swathes of privatisation into the NHS e.g. he continued the previous administration’s fetish of hugely expensive PFI hospitals, completed the privatisation of the train service and repeatedly tried to privatise the Post Office. The current ConDems government intends to privatise the Post Office and sell publically-owned forests.
Privatised train services in UK are now close to useless. The service is unreliable with extortionate and prohibative prices. Imagine the NHS running to the standards of the UK’s train service if you dare.
There is huge opposition to the ConDems intention to destroy the NHS from health service professionals. Quoted below is a recent article from the Guardian. Please note the links to different groups of health professionals at the end.
Cameron and Lansley are pressing on with their shakeup – undeterred by a broad coalition of opposition
It is the biggest shakeup in the history of the country’s best-loved institution, and a high-stakes political gamble even for a government intent on pushing through radical change. The health secretary Andrew Lansley’s plans to transform the NHS in England have united in opposition doctors, health thinktanks (and the right-of-centre thinktank Civitas), unions representing the 1.4m-strong NHS workforce, health academics, MPs on the health select committee, the NHS’s major employers, and patients’ representatives.
Even David Cameron’s brother-in-law, an NHS cardiologist, thinks the government has got it wrong, the prime minister admitted last week.
Cameron and Lansley are pressing on undeterred. The plans will see England’s 152 primary care trusts and 10 strategic health authorities abolished, and consortiums of GPs commissioning £80bn a year of healthcare. They will be able to opt for treatment from “any willing provider” – NHS, private healthcare or charity – fuelling suspicions that the result will be the privatisation of the NHS.
Hospitals will be forced to compete with each other, and other providers, for patients. Ministers say this is necessary to improve the quality of care and help the NHS become more efficient, so it can solve the riddle of tight budgets at a time of rising demand.
But do the proposals spell, to quote the chair of the Royal College of GPs, “the end of the NHS as we know it”? The Lancet medical journal says that, given the impending “catastrophic breakup”, the Tories’ pre-election claim to be the party of the NHS “seems particularly hollow”.
Here key figures set out their concerns:
[Ideas are free …]