When the NHS is privatised there will be no votes cast, no division called in the House of Commons and certainly no public consultation. Such a policy would never be put in any manifesto, if it were it would be the shortest suicide note in history. I could add this to my explanation of why you’re not a Tory because at some point, unless the direction changes you will have to choose between voting Tory or preserving the NHS. This election may well be your last chance fixated with Brexit and anti-terrorism as it is and quite right too. Now colour me cynical but the sort of people who stand to benefit for NHS privatisation don’t care about elections, they care about the bottom line. The are billions of pounds to be made here and all the usual suspects are lining up to replace the best healthcare system in the world and it’s also the cheapest.
So what’s so good about what we have? I had reason to use the NHS a few years ago, I sort of fell over a bit, out of surgery hours and a friend I was with insisted I go to A & E to get checked out. Now most blokes, it may just be me, treat say a tiny cut as near death experience and will go on to boast about their bravery in overcoming this for years to come. Any really serious injury gets dismissed as just a scratch. I’d been told for last two weeks or so I hadn’t looked well but as I’m superman I took no notice and I certainly wasn’t going to A&E. As a compromise I agreed to go to the local walk in centre and it was magnificent. My only complaint was that the sexual health clinic was on the ground floor, whilst I with breathing difficulties, had to go up a floor. You’d have thought it was the ones with STDs that had the energy for climbing stairs.
There are only certain ways to convince a man he is ill or not and telling him isn’t one of them. In the same way no man ever has cold, it’s always flu, when you’re really ill you go into denial and “It Can’t Happen To Me” mode. The waiting room had a fair number children in it, with naturally anxious parents, so I settled myself to wait for God knows how long whilst the genuinely ill people got see. I got called almost immediately and finally the penny dropped, I must be ill to get called before those kids. That’s how you tell a bloke he is ill. In one last act of defiance I refused the ambulance offered and got a lift to hospital where I spent the next five days unconscious, double pneumonia is no end of fun. now I tell you all this not to highlight my supreme bravery (known to females as pig headed stupidity of the first order) I just want to drive home the point that there was one thing was not stopping me getting the treatment I needed.
Cost. I could have made a GP appointment at any time and got treatment sooner free at the point of use. My medication costs would be small, I think prescriptions were around £7 at the time, and if I required hospital treatment it was once again free at point of use. To change this would be an act of national insanity and looking at the current omnishambles that is Brexit we are quite capable of those. Around 10.7% of NHS spending goes to non NHS providers (Source FullFact) and the figure is growing. It all started, of course, with Thatcher where the groundwork was laid. Then came the scandal of PFI which isn’t as bad as it could have been, the true cost has been calculated By FullFact. This accounts for another 2% of NHS budget going to private hands.PFI has been largely stopped in it’s tracks, along with LOBO loans by dedicated bloggers.
I would like to introduce a bunch of naughty rapscallions at this point @Renegade_Inc they have a great show on RT and they pointed me in the direction of this, the Naylor Review an innocuous sounding document. This is a priority for the next Tory government and it involves selling off a shedload of NHS assets including land. It is a 5 year review which just happens to be the term a government can serve and by a happy coincidence there’s a general election tomorrow. How extraordinary, not to mention convenient. So who did this review?
The chief architect of the accelerating demise of the NHS, and former United Health vice- President Simon Stevens, remains at the helm and largely out of the public consciousness. Stevens is enthusiastically enacting his dangerous Sustainability and Transformation Plans, which replace our extensive network of District General Hospitals and General Practices with fewer profit centres, designed to deliver the most lucrative medical treatments, to be funded out of pocket or by private insurance. His vision will effectively eradicate the provision of expensive and unprofitable care, such as A&E, intensive care, paediatrics, elderly care, and acute medical and surgical care.
Tick tock goes the clock for the NHS little by little and bit by bit. Those who wish for privatisation are well represented in the House of Commons and House of Lords. It’s because there is so much money to be made these people will never ever stop, they’ll try any method from TTIP, buying the legislature and time will never be a problem. It isn’t that the NHS is above reform along the lines of France but that isn’t what’s been offered. It is Americanisation of the NHS that they want, the most expensive healthcare system on earth with the worst outcomes. It is also the most profitable.
One final thought on the why you need the NHS more than a Tory government in the light of recent events.