Monday, 31 January 2011

Judgement day for the NHS.

Today is the day that debate starts on Andrew Lansley's 'Privatise the NHS' Bill. It isn't actually called that, but let's call a spade a spade, that's what it is. If this goes through, private companies will not just gain a toe-hold, but a massive foothold. Even the Tory MP and GP Sarah Woolaston likened the bill to 'throwing a grenade into the middle of the NHS'.

David Cameron today tried to sell the reforms by insisting that the NHS isn't good enough as it is, and that it needs reforms to catch up to health care systems around the world. He of course ignores the fact that often the NHS comes out very highly indeed in comparisons of systems, but let's address what he says about us not performing well.

The King's fund, a non-political and highly respected health think tank, say that the case for reform have been 'over-sold'. The figures being used by Cameron and Lansley only go up to diagnoses in 2002, just a year after the Labour government started to really drive up spending on health.

The Conservative's need to play down the success of the NHS, it's the only way they can sell reform. But there facts just do not stack up.

I have written extensively on this, which you can find here. I will leave you with the remarks of the Lancet. Anyone in science will know the high standards of the editorials in the Lancet, and its esteemed reputation. Their blunt analysis is this:

"As it stands, the UK Governments new bill spells the end of the NHS."

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