Friday, 16 March 2012

Destruction of the NHS ... and 'a mockery of democracy'

The current Government are hell-bent on destroying the NHS ... a NATIONAL health service set up in 1948 by Aneurin Bevan and created out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of any wealth, and based upon three core principles:

* that it meet the needs of everyone
* that it be free at the point of delivery
* that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay.

Prior to gaining office the Conservative party deliberately kept secret their radical plans for the NHS from the people of this country. Their plans for the NHS were cooked up by Lansley over many years in opposition, and yet they failed to tell the people anything about their plans prior to the election (as no-one would have trusted them, and no-one would have voted for them)! 

Worse still, the Conservatives continually lied and made use of copious amounts of spin (nb David Cameron is only trained in PR) to persuade the country that they could be trusted with the NHS and that the "NHS would be safe in their hands". What irony and hypocrisy. The NHS reforms introduced by this manipulative Government therefore had no mandate from the electorate, and on entering Government they have consistently (and deliberately) circumvented any democratic right/process. In summary, they have made a 'mockery of democracy'.

And what about their continual spin ... that the NHS is 'Safe in their Hands?' What a joke! On being told by the Information Commissioner (and the High Court) to publish the risk register associated with these reforms, the Government have steadfastly refused to do so, whilst continuing to rail-road the reforms through.

The reforms are highly toxic and designed to deliberately destroy the very foundations/principles of the NHS. They open the doors to mass profiteering, by commissioning groups as well as private providers, which will taking money out of the system that would have otherwise been spent on healthcare. 

They will also destroy the 'doctor-patient' relationship and any trust patients have in their doctors, due to clear conflicts of interest (made clear by the Royal College of GP's) that have not been addressed! Doctors will now have to balance any diagnostic decision (and any decisions about subsequent treatment) with reduced budgets and a new found ability to profiteer (e.g. from withholding/limiting any diagnoses/care provided). The reforms deliberately try to bribe GP's to ration healthcare (e.g. by offering them bonuses for doing so). Yet despite this, the vast majority of GP's directly oppose the bill and want to see it dropped, some out of 'principle', and some from the fact that they know they are going to effectively become a scapegoat and the focus of people's anger (as people realise that care is effectively being withheld by them, unless they can afford to pay). 

Indeed, this Government has been careful to deflect any blame on the future lack of healthcare provision away from themselves and onto local groups (a divide and rule strategy). GP's are clearly the main target but the Government have also effectively removed the world NATIONAL from the term 'National Health Service', as there will no longer be a national standard for the type, or level, of care offered across the country (with no-one taking overall responsibility for this). This will result in a "post code lottery" health service; destroying the concept/principles of a NATIONAL health service ... And if anyone thinks they'll be able to simply move doctors if they're not happy, think again, as the Government have not allowed this (you will effectively have to move house to change your GP surgery - and even then, it will still depend on you being able to find a different, and more caring, commissioning group)!

If offered treatment, patients are also seeing waiting times dramatically increase, with Government officials desperately trying to remove any remaining waiting time measures/targets (n.b. people are also seeing appointments offered, but repeatedly cancelled too). Increasing waiting times are also a crucial (but toxic and hidden) ingredient of these reforms, as they are needed to pressurize people into paying for health insurance and/or paying to queue jump (NB they will now be able to jump the queue, as NHS hospitals will be able to allocate up to 49% of their time/resources to those who pay, and those willing/able to pay will be treated first, by exactly the same NHS doctors and nurses ... which in turn will make waiting lists/times even longer).

This destroys the very foundations of the NHS, in that healthcare should be "based on clinical need and not the ability to pay". With these reforms this will clearly not be the case in the future. Indeed, it is noticeable that Government ministers are always careful not to use this particular phrase when defending their reforms, and only say the NHS is about care still being 'free at the point of delivery'.

With the destruction of the core principles of the NHS, what we are seeing is the dismantling of the NHS ... and a list of 'the guilty', who should be charged with 'crimes against humanity', can be found below, along with their respective roles:

David Cameron, for his lies, deceit and hypocrisy. Andrew Lansley, for cooking up this immoral plan to destroy the NHS. Both parties are guilty of pressing on regardless, ignoring fundamental issues/concerns raised by every healthcare professional group, and systematically manipulating/ circumventing democratic processes (e.g. publication of the risk register).

Nick Clegg, for allowing these reforms to progress at all (with no electoral mandate) and forcing Liberal Democrats to ignore all concerns/principles in order to vote for these reforms. Shirley Williams for selling her soul to help Clegg and switching from 'protector' to 'cheerleader' (NB Lord Owen, a previous Democrat along-side Shirley Williams, is still desperately trying to stop the bill without the publication of the risk register demanded by the Courts). 


Ed Miliband for 'throwing a sickie' and not attending a rally against NHS reforms, so he could accept a VIP invitation to watch Hull City play football instead.

Andy Burnham (and John Healey), for failing to articulate a clear (and proven) alternative to these reforms ... based on engaging and empowering the workforce to radically improve the service ... and in the process making the NHS more seamless and efficient (i.e. 'lean') ... n.b. the complete opposite of this Government's approach, which focuses on fragmenting (and destroying) the service, ignoring any advice and/ or concerns of healthcare professionals, and handing over the money to those seeking pure profit (e.g. McKinsey's, commissioning groups, insurance companies and private providers), and not those on the front-line who are passionate about the NHS and want to create better healthcare for all (i.e. the healthcare professionals).

and finally, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, for ditching socialism (in favour of crony capitalism, self-interest and 'spin') and for abandoning all the 'ordinary', hard working, people they were supposed to represent. Their failures (e.g. bank deregulation, bank bailouts and the subsequent pressure to slash public services to pay back all the resulting debt) in effect created an 'open door' for the Conservatives to step into, impose a slash and burn strategy, and blame the Labour party for having to do it! 

RIP NHS ... a casualty of self-interest and greed, and a lack of real democracy ...

and why ... well this is down to a combination of ignorance and apathy.

RIP Britain ... and watch out for impending riots.

Aristotle once said ...

"Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers"
"In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme"

Those currently in power are desperately trying to ensure that this will never happen ... and indeed the opposite remains true ... by wielding all the power at their disposal (including the deployment of paramilitary forces armed with water cannons, tear gas, tasers and plastic bullets) ... and the answer to this ... mass protest ... withdrawal of labour ... and the use of 21st century technology.