NHS news summary: Yet more confirmation that the Health Bill will destroy the NHS, PM Cameron accused of hiding high satisfaction with the NHS and Unite accuses the Con government of not thinking through NHS reforms.
A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
The Health and Social Care Bill amounts to the abolition of the English NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly accountable, tax funded service, free at the point of delivery, academics warn.
Professor Allyson Pollock and David Price, from the Centre for Health Sciences, Barts and The London School of Medicine, argue that the government’s duty to provide a comprehensive health service in England is set to be abolished.
They say that freedoms created under the new Bill will allow corporate commissioners and investors to contract out all NHS services to a range of private providers and redefine the range of NHS services available. They will also be free to charge for some elements that are currently NHS services and to create surpluses for staff and shareholders by under-spending the patient care budget, the authors say on bmj.com.
At today’s PMQs Paul Blomfield challenged the Prime Minister about the Department of Health’s decision not to publish research that it is has had since last autumn, and which shows the highest ever public satisfaction with the NHS. David Cameron refused to answer the question.
Paul Blomfield MP asked the Prime Minister:
“It was reported at the weekend that the Department of Health has failed to publish research, that it had commissioned and received last autumn, which showed the highest ever public satisfaction with the NHS. Will the Prime Minister urge the Secretary of State for Health to publish this research without further delay or, by not doing so, will he confirm that the BMA was right last week when it deplored “the government’s use of misleading and inaccurate information to denigrate the NHS, to justify the Health and Social Care Bill reforms”?
Speaking after PMQs Paul Blomfield MP said: “It’s not surprising that David Cameron refused to answer my question. The public is more satisfied with the NHS than ever before, which shows that the Tory plans to reorganise the NHS are completely ideologically-driven and not based on evidence. They are going to let private companies start running NHS services and create a two-tier system. The public do not support this and the Tory/Lib Dem government should think again and scrap their dangerous plans.”
The politics of vagueness haunts the legislation which will herald the biggest ever shake-up of the NHS, Unite, the largest union in the country, said today (Wednesday 23 March).
Unite, which has 100,000 members in the health service, is concerned that health secretary Andrew Lansley has not got a grip on the details of the legislation, which will open up the NHS to the widespread privatisation of services.
Unite cites two examples of this lack of grip – Andrew Lansley’s admission to the Commons health select committee that he was ‘still thinking through’ what would happen if one of the new GP consortia went broke; and a further admission that the role of Monitor – the regulatory body which will oversee fair play in the new ‘market’ – had not been finalised.
Increasing competition in the health service could lead to some hospital units closing, a leading doctor has warned.
Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the British Medical Association’s consultants committee, said NHS hospitals are likely to lose services to private companies under the Government’s reforms, which could leave them struggling.
As a result, many trusts will be “unable to cover the costs of entire departments”, which could lead to their closure, or cuts being made in other ways such as reducing staff numbers.
27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.
I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
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