Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/655/11048

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2011

Warning: Government health 'reforms' can seriously damage your health

Defend Whittington Hospital Campaign demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

Defend Whittington Hospital Campaign demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

'EQUITY AND Excellence: Liberating the NHS'... so benevolently named is the government's car crash of a health bill which is going through parliament, that frankly there should be a health warning attached to it!

Jackie Grunsell

The name hides a devastating array of proposals which, if accepted, will see the destruction of the NHS as a health system.

No longer will it provide care, nationally planned, to meet the needs of each individual, without basing that on their ability to pay.

Instead it is to be replaced by a fragmented set of different health care providers competing to deliver care to another set of different commissioners, jostling to buy the services their particular patients need, with an ever-decreasing pot of money with which to do this.

The central principle of the bill is that 'any willing provider' can supply the services, including profit-making health corporations like United Health.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) and Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) will be abolished from 2013 to be replaced by groups of GPs organised into groups called 'consortia'.

The government expects this will reduce spending on 'bureaucracy'. However the British Medical Journal estimates the cost of restructuring will be 2-3 billion for which extra funding is not being provided.

They claim GPs are best placed to make decisions about the needs of their patients.

While GPs are often very good at assessing the needs of their own practice populations they are not trained in public health nor do they generally have an overview of the health needs of an entire town or city, let alone a region or country as a whole.

Even if they did, on the basis of a reduction in NHS funding in real terms, GPs will simply end up being the ones who decide which services will be cut or rationed.

Of course it's inevitable that GP consortia will employ others to do their 'management' for them, a role for which private companies are champing at the bit. Control of the NHS's 100+ billion budget is the prize they've had their eyes on for some time.

Every NHS trust will become a foundation trust by 2013, taking it out of state control. When these trusts will no longer have a cap on how much they can earn from private patients, it's easy to see how NHS patients, not paying directly for care, could end up at the back of the queue.

What little accountability existed in the NHS is to be stripped away. There has been no public consultation on the government's proposals despite the fact that less than half of doctors think the government's plans will improve patient care.

The top-down drive to promote a market-driven health service will actually risk increasing the inequality in health between rich and poor. Those needing unprofitable, highly specialised or expensive treatments may well be asked to pay, or at least 'top-up' the funding available on the NHS.

Fortunately all health service trade unions seem to be united in their opposition to the government's plans. Of course, words are not enough when it comes to the very future of our NHS. Action is needed now before it's too late.

Health unions need to unite in organising industrial action against this attack. They should fight alongside community groups campaigning to defend services and come together to coordinate a national campaign to defend our NHS.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 January 2011:


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for jobs and education

Where next for the student movement?

Education Maintenance Allowance days of action 18 and 19 January

No to sky-high youth unemployment!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Warning: Government health 'reforms' can seriously damage your health

Phone hacking and media spin - the murky world of Andy Coulson

Food price hikes fuelling unrest

Fight the Con-Dem 'bosses' charter'

RMT leader slams anti-union laws

Marching against council cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Hampshire: Battling to defend jobs

Second show of strength by Medirest workers

BA workers vote to fight on

DWP contact centre strike


National Shop Stewards Network

NSSN anti-cuts campaign launched

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference


International socialist news and analysis

Irish government collapses: United Left Alliance offers real alternative

Tunisia: Protesters demand real democracy and social change

50 years ago: Congo's independence leader assassinated


Socialist Party schools features

Tidemill school - victory for parents

Save Our Schools

Bankers' "Free school" excludes poorer pupils


Socialist Party review

Britain's Banks: Too Big to Save?


Comment

Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'

Stop the mental health service cuts


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 January 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Health:

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

triangleUnison's retired members reflect growing anger

triangleHuge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike boost

triangleBangladeshi campaigners fight mining giant for justice

NHS:

triangleCutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

triangleEnd low pay - support Salford Royal security workers' action

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

Trusts:

triangleSave our NHS

triangle'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

Pay:

triangleDrivers and passenger assistants employed by Hackney council in the Special Education Needs Service have won a victory - click here for info.

triangleSainsbury's strikers win

Jackie Grunsell:

triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

15/10/19

Derbyshire

Flooring workers strike, Derbyshire

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

9/10/19

Health

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

9/10/19

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

9/10/19

Socialist Party

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

9/10/19

Unison

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

9/10/19

RMT

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

9/10/19

Equity

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

9/10/19

Birmingham

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

9/10/19

Royal Mail

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999