Monday, May 09, 2011

Doing nothing on the NHS IS an option

This column of mine appears in the Morning Star.

…..According to David Cameron "the risk" to the NHS is "doing nothing."

The status quo is simply not an option, the government tells us.

Yeah, right, Dave.

How many people have you seen marching for radical reform of the NHS?

Everyone I have met who has had treatment on the NHS in recent years has been very satisfied with the way they were treated.

When I had to have a minor operation a few years back, I not only received exemplary care and attention in hospital but I received a text the following day from the NHS to check if I was all right. What terrible service from an organisation which free-market fanatics like to label a "Stalinist bureaucracy"!

Because most people are happy with the NHS the way it is, the neoliberals have to hype up its failings.

Yet when things do go wrong they are invariably caused by the introduction of so-called "market principles" and privatisation into our health-care system.

You can read the whole article here.

MPs are today debating Lansley's Health Bill. This Bill doesn't need 'revision' or 'improvements'- it needs to be ditched altogether. The government has absolutely no mandate for it.


Douglas said...

It may be the case that the good people of the UK find NHS acceptible, but on this side of the pond, there is a great deal of unhappiness regarding the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). Many legislators who voted for it were sacked by the voters in the 2010 election.

I understand that Mr. Clegg's party took a beating in your recent elections. Is that good? Is a defeat for the coalition an endorsement of NHS?

Neil Clark said...

Hi Douglas,
good to hear from you.
The Lib Dems took a beating principally because their supporters feel betrayed that they've joined up with the Tories and are pursuing a hardline neoliberal agenda. Hopefully, Clegg will now realise that his party faces electoral oblivion unless they forcefully they oppose extremist Tory policies such as Lansley's Health Bill, which, make no mistake, would destroy the NHS.

Nicholas Colloff said...

It is not a question of reform or doing nothing. It may simply the patient improvement (within the current system) of all provision to the level of the best. This requires neither 'reform' nor more resources but the patient transfer of knowledge. Terribly dull but necessary - and not likely to excite politicians - no headlines - but likely to be helpful!

jock mctrousers said...

Hi Neil, good to see you back in the Morning Star again - you don't appear so often these days. There's a couple of areas re the NHS where doing nothing really ISN'T an option - the PFIs and the privatised cleaning! Time to annul the PFIs as poor value and illegal (I'm sure there's a case for that), and bring cleaning back in-house.

Jason Stirland said...

This government has a majority of the vote and seats. Looks like a mandate to me.

Neil Clark said...

thanks for the comments.
thanks, Jock. great to hear from you. totally agreed re PFIs and privatised cleaning.
Jason- sorry, but the government does not have a mandate for its NHS reforms. DC promised there'd be no top down reorganisation of the NHS before the election. As the Guardian reports here,
there was no mention of the reforms in either the Conservative manifesto or the coalition agreement. The Tories knew full well that if they had made their plans public before the election, they would not have won.

Neil Clark said...

thanks for the comments. jock- many thanks. I totally agree re PFIs and privatised cleaning.

Jason- DC said, prior to the election, that there'd be no major top-down reorganisation of the NHS if his party won. Radical NHS reform was not in the coalition agreement either. If the Conservatives had announced their plans before the election, they would never have been elected. The government has absolutely no democratic mandate for Lansley's Health Bill.