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The Murder of the NHS

by ceebs Fri Oct 28th, 2011 at 12:02:39 PM EST

Here is the lethal blow

NHS Bill lets GPs restrict treatment. So what happens if you can't pay? | Blog | False Economy

Clause 10 of the Health Bill is a key clause in the Government's plan to turn the NHS into a commercial market. In an earlier post for False Economy I said that one effect of this clause is to allow some Clinical Commissioning Groups (similar to the notorious GP practice in Haxby in Yorkshire) to restrict the services that the NHS will pay for so that patients will use their private practice. But what happens if patients cannot pay?

The Lords Select Committee on the Constitution says that Clause 10 of the bill will amend the NHS Act 2006 to say that a CCG must arrange for the provision of services "as it considers necessary to meet the reasonable requirements" of patients. The clause gives a comprehensive list of services including hospital accommodation; medical, dental, ophthalmic, nursing and ambulance services; services for pregnant and breastfeeding women; and diagnostics. In other words, almost everything the NHS currently provides is at risk. The phrase "as the CCG considers necessary" means that the CCG can decide what is, and what is not funded by the NHS, but the Bill does not say what will happen to patients that cannot afford to pay.

For example, at some time in the future your local CCG may look at its finances and decide that patients must pay for diagnostics like blood tests and x-rays. It is a local CCG that will make this decision, whereas at the moment it is the Secretary of State. If Andrew Lansley were to say "patients will now have to pay for blood tests" there would be uproar. Lansley would be hauled onto Newsnight or the Today programme to justify his decision. The political fallout would be huge and Lansley would rescind this decision. This is why we have politicians responsible for the NHS: they are accountable.

This clause  transfers priorities from clinical to financial. It's the old seeing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

A commentator writes

Christine Burns - Google+ - This article explains a point that I have recently been...

This article explains a point that I have recently been trying to get across to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The health bill will invalidate previous case law regarding the right of people to have their conditions treated on the NHS.

Cases like A.D.&G. vs NW Lancs Health Authority (1998/9) were based on the principle that had ruled the NHS since 1948, which is that the NHS is a universal service treating all conditions for which there are legitimate treatments. The courts therefore ruled that having anything amounting to a blanket ban on something like (say) treatment for gender dysphoria was unlawful.

So it removes current opportunities of legal redress too

Truly this government are barbarians.

Yes, but where's the outrage in the media ? and more to the point, where's the outrage from the Labour Party ??

That is the ultimate problem, all of our politicians are from a small self-replicating strata of well-heeled society who simply do not have the experience of day to day life as lived by the overwhelming majority of people in the country. so, when they legislate, they are oblivious to the impact it will have.

They're all "I'm all right, Jack", they can all afford this stuff. And they think that anyone who cannot is simply a "feckless, workshy scrounger". And that's just the Labour politicians.

However, as I've said before, Blair discovered with the railways post Hatfield that the public still believes the Government have responsibilities which pols believe they've abdicated. I remain confident that Cameron will find out the same thing regarding the Health service.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Oct 29th, 2011 at 04:02:56 AM EST
When even the BBC seems to have joined in the anti Welfare state campaign with an hour long program that could have come from the daily mail.

Letters: BBC accused of anti-welfare stance | Politics | The Guardian

We are outraged that the BBC is joining the propaganda war aimed at destroying the welfare state, Britain's most civilised and civilising legacy (Last night's TV, G2, 28 October). In the 1940s, after years of depression and slaughter, working-class people who had sacrificed so much felt entitled to a life without the constant threat of war and poverty. Family allowance, income support, unemployment and housing benefits, disability benefits, a state pension, the NHS and free education have assumed that everyone contributed and deserved to be looked after "from the cradle to the grave".

Entitlement fostered not only dignity and respect, but decent wages and working conditions for those in work. Since 1979, Thatcher's love for the free market and her hatred for "the culture of entitlement" has determined social policy. We are now all expected to chase nonexistent jobs or work for our benefits, ie £1.63 an hour; sick and disabled people are found "fit for work" even despite terminal illnesses; older people have had their pensions postponed because living "too long" is a crisis; the vital work of mothers and other carers is disregarded and dismissed. The minimum wage is bypassed and we all stand to lose. Why should corporations pay a living wage if they can get claimants and prisoners to work without one?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 29th, 2011 at 05:50:04 AM EST
I haven't seen that programme; I knew Humphrys a bit back in the day and could more or less guess what he'd say.

His attitude is more or less summed up by the alternative version of The Red Flag,-
"The working class can kiss my arse,
I've got the bosses job at last

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Oct 29th, 2011 at 08:48:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it's a program that I managed to stomach only the first ten minutes, before it was turned over, I was getting dangerously close to a screen/boot interface moment.  From watching the rest of the program indirectly via internet commentators,I'd have been at least on my third TV by the end.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 29th, 2011 at 08:59:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so many months ago somebody was arguing that it's very hard to remove an entitlement such as the NHS or retirement pensions without triggering unsurmountable popular opposition. Apparently it's possible to reform it into oblivion without people revolting.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Oct 29th, 2011 at 06:43:46 PM EST
It's success by sleight of hand

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 29th, 2011 at 09:35:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
have the decisions taken locally where only a small number of people at a time are affected, and complaint is thus not organised by the national bodies which might otherwise do it if it was a central decision.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Oct 30th, 2011 at 06:51:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or do things that will only have consequences in the long future. Cookie points for a policy with exponential consequences over time.

Or re-design financing in a away that makes the system unsustainable, so that later you can say: "public provision is inefficient"

Or do things that look good on paper, but have strange side effects.

There is no such thing as a revolution (when there is, it is only a massive disgrace - Pol Pot or so). But minimal changes over time, "small things", can change the system completely over years or decades. As long as you do not mind waiting a bit... It is a revolution if you consider the starting point and the ending point (usually decades later)

by cagatacos on Thu Nov 3rd, 2011 at 07:58:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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