- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat (Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
A government plan to share patient records and other NHS data with private health companies ran into an immediate storm of opposition yesterday.
David Cameron will try to get the proposal back on track today when he will argue that “opening up” the health service would make it a “huge magnet” for innovation and would boost economic growth.
In a speech in London, the Prime Minister will outline plans for seriously ill patients to get quicker access to potentially life-saving new drugs before they are licensed. He will call for the NHS to work “hand-in-glove” with life science companies in a move that could give them more freedom to run clinical trials inside hospitals and access anonymised patient records. It could mean records being handed to pharmaceutical firms which carry out experiments on animals.
Privacy campaigners pointed out that the Government did not have a good record in holding personal data. In 2008, child benefit records including the details of 25 million people were lost by HM Revenue & Customs.
Guy Herbert, general secretary of the NO2ID campaign, said: “Anonymised data is like sterilised milk – it stops being that way the moment you open it up.”
Prime minister will outline plans to encourage NHS ties with industry and fuel innovation, including £180m catalyst fund
Burnham said that in principle he was not opposed to the idea of private firms getting access to some NHS data. But he said the government had to “tread carefully” in this area, and that he was concerned about Cameron’s willingness to open up the NHS to the private sector. “[Cameron] sees no limit on the involvement of the private sector and says he wants it to be a ‘fantastic business’. In his desperation to develop a credible industrial strategy, he seems willing to put large chunks of our NHS up for sale.”
Roger Gross, from the pressure group Patient Concern, said that allowing private firms access to NHS data would mean “the death of patient confidentiality”. Patient Concern resigned from a Department of Health consultation on the plan.
“”We understand GP surgeries will have the right to refuse to release their patients’ records, but whether patients will ever be told what is happening, let alone have the choice to protect their privacy, is still unclear,” Gross said.
THE Government has been slammed by MP David Crausby for its “wasteful” NHS reforms.
Mr Crausby, Labour MP for Bolton North East, has said guidelines requiring NHS Bolton to put a side £18,906,908 in two years are not acceptable.
“These shocking new figures show the Government’s reorganisation is costing the NHS even more than we first feared,” he said.
“It is scandalous that they are telling our local NHS to hold back millions of pounds for their own reckless plans whilst thousands of nursing jobs are being axed.
“Bolton Primary Care Trust has seen a 129 per cent rise in the number of patients waiting longer than 18 weeks for treatment since David Cameron became Prime Minister
We start with some simple points of agreement. The brutal cuts to services about to be inflicted by the current Government are unnecessary, unfair and ideologically motivated. The coalition are particularly fond of two obscene catchphrases: ‘There is no alternative’ and ‘We’re all in this together.’ Both slogans are empty and untrue. The cuts will dismantle the welfare state, send inequality sky-rocketing and hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. A cabinet of millionaires have decided that libraries, healthcare, education funding, voluntary services, sports, the environment, the disabled, the poor and the elderly must pay the price for the recklessness of the rich.
Austerity-economics is the policy of the powerful. It cannot be stopped by asking nicely. We cannot wait until the next election. If we want to win the fight against these cuts (and we can win) then we must make it impossible to ignore our arguments and impossible to resist our demands. This means building a powerful grassroots mass movement, able to resist the Government cuts at every turn.
“There is no alternative.”
We are told that the only way to reduce the deficit is to cut public services. This is certainly not the case. There are alternatives, but the government chooses to ignore them, highlighting the fact that the cuts are based on ideology, not necessity.
- One alternative is to clamp down on tax avoidance by corporations and the rich and tax evasion, estimated to cost the state £95bn a year
- Another is to make the banks pay for free insurance provided to them by the taxpayer: a chief executive at the Bank of England put the cost of this subsidy at £100bn in a single year
“We are all in this together.”
- average pay of FTSE 100 directors has risen 55%,
- corporation tax has been cut,
- the government have not delivered on a manifesto pledge to clamp down on tax avoidance, instead cutting staff at HMRC,
- bank profits and bonuses are back in the many billions (last year banks paid out over £7bn in bonuses and just four banks made £24bn in profit),
- there has been no reform of the banks.
David Cameron himself has said that the cuts will change Britain’s “whole way of life”. Every aspect of what was fought for by generations seems under threat – from selling off the forests, privatising health provision, closing the libraries and swimming pools, to scrapping rural bus routes. What Cameron doesn’t say is that the cuts will also disproportionately hit the poor and vulnerable, with cuts to housing benefit, disability living allowance, the childcare element of working tax credits, EMA, the Every Child a Reader programme, Sure Start and the Future Jobs Fund to name a few.
The facts speak for themselves; we are not all in this together, we are paying for the folly of reckless bankers whilst the rich profit
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
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.
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