Their Long Term Economic Plan is Working – They’re Out to Destroy the NHS

Government reforms of the NHS over the last three decades have transformed a democratically controlled public service into an open, competitive market.

In our new report, The Wrong Medicine, the New Economics Foundation looks at the impact of pro-market reforms in the NHS from competitive tendering in the 1980s to the fundamental reorganisation set out in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

Reviewing evidence from the UK, as well as international comparisons, we can only conclude that markets in healthcare almost always fail patients, citizens and taxpayers.

The 2012 Health and Social Care Act is the latest and most extreme move towards markets in healthcare. Large profit-seeking organisations, many based in the United States, are now winning more and more NHS business. Lord Owen has warned that it could “create a fully marketised national health service”. Even senior Tories have called the Act the Coalition government’s biggest mistake.

A new trade agreement between the European Union and the United States (TTIP), due for completion next year, threatens to lock in private sector control of the NHS by inflicting heavy financial penalties on a future government trying to return health services to public ownership.

The costs of maintaining market mechanisms in the NHS have been conservatively estimated at £4.5 billion a year – enough to pay for ten specialist hospitals, 174,798 extra nurses or 42,413 extra GPs.

Not many people know this. Two in three people polled by Ipsos MORI said they knew little about changes being made to the NHS.

Most remarkably, the overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that markets are bad for healthcare. There is certainly no compelling evidence that market mechanisms or private ownership are more efficient or more likely to improve care for patients than a publicly owned, controlled and funded system.

In our report we found:

  • market mechanisms have largely inconclusive or negative effects of quality and equity in healthcare
  • no conclusive evidence that patient choice has made UK healthcare more responsive to patients or even more competitive
  • the Private Finance Initiative has inflicted dangerously heavy long-term financial costs on NHS trusts without compensating savings or benefits
  • despite the highest per person spending US healthcare ranks much lower than the UK’s in international comparisons. Poor performance is directly attributed to market mechanisms.
  • markets in healthcare almost always fail patients, citizens and taxpayers. They function best when all parties can make fully informed choices, but patients rarely can.
  • markets are not well-suited to encourage prevention of illness or more integrated health and social care. They depend on increased activity, which calls for more people getting ill and needing care. A healthy patient is not a source of income. Integration calls for high-trust, long-term relationships and willingness to share information, risks and rewards: these are not fostered in a competitive marketplace.

In short, market-based reforms are undermining the capacity of the NHS to maintain its world-class performance. And now it is desperately – and increasingly – strapped for cash. Public funds have been drastically cut as part of the government’s austerity drive, while demands for healthcare continue to rise.

The prevailing narrative is that health services are not working under state control: strong medicine is needed to save the NHS and that means more markets and more private sector providers. And the more it falls prey to financial pressures, the more easily the NHS can be described as a failing public institution – a problem begging for market solutions.

We can only conclude, then, that today’s NHS reforms are driven by ideology: a set of ideas that shape policy and – in this case – favour competitive markets with multiple, profit-seeking providers, over public institutions that aim to serve the public interest.

Instead, voters need to know why the NHS is in trouble and that markets are part of the problem, not the solution.

Reprinted from http://touchstoneblog.org.uk

Report at

Films on a Sunday Night

Hey,
There’s a film on at 9 PM called Lockout.
OK, maybe a film about brave Trade Unionists fighting the good fight against hired goons in 1930s USA
I go on line to check out what it may be about, here’s the blurb off t’internet,
“A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.”
If you thought my idea was awful – what about the real one.
Whoever made the pitch to the producers must have been on something and whoever accepted the pitch too.
I’m now wondering where I might make the pitch about my movie – I just need to figure out how to weave sex, aliens and the president into the mix.

Lockout

 

What to make of Scotish Independance

What to make of Scottish independence?

Firstly, I can’t believe that when Cameron said he wanted the issue settled once and for all that he ever contemplated that he may go down in history as the PM who lost yet another former colony a sort of 21st Century Lord North.

I’ll now like to think of Cameron rather like Monty Python’s Black Knight with bits and pieces being chopped off.

One interesting aspect of this two and a half year process is that it didn’t get interesting till the establishment thought there may be a chance that Salmond may win. Then there was a choice; then there was passion. 97% of Scotts are registered to vote. Perhaps it’s the lack of any real choice that produces turnouts of less than 30%

If there is a YES vote then the resulting arguments amongst the Scotts will be portrayed and negative infighting by the British media – it’s inevitable and a sign of a vibrant democratic process.

All the various groups who blamed their lack of power on “London” seem to have invested independence with all their hopes and those Labour, Socialist and generally left wing voters who gave their votes to the SNP to keep the Tories out will no longer feel any need to support a party wishing to cut corporation tax.

Lessons for the Labour Party

There is a momentum away from the Westminster/neo-liberal consensus. Mrs Thatcher when asked what her greatest achievement was replied, “Tony Blair.” UKIP floats on this momentum and has made unthinking racism respectable (is thinking racism respectable?). When people look around and see their communities changed beyond recognition the people who controlled the forces that shut down manufacturing and found it more profitable to produce those goods abroad don’t get the blame – they don’t live round here – it must be the Rumanians fault.

Labour have to talk about power internationally, nationally and locally. Who has it and how do you get it.

  • Talking about TTIP would be a good place to start this conversation.
  • How to privatise the NHS by stealth would be another good topic – they’ll know a lot about that.
  • How to keep Railway fat-cats well fed on subsidies – they know a lot about that too
  • They need to explain that no private provider brings more money in to public services than they take out – that’s not how it works.

“What Does Labour Want?”

It’s Labor Day in the USA on Sept 1st

I pinched this from http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labour in 1886, said, “We want more school houses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful and childhood more happy and bright. These in brief are the primary demands made by the Trade Unions in the name of labour. These are the demands made by labour upon modern society and in their consideration is involved the fate of civilization.”

We need to tell the world that we still want these things

And this is one of the guys “we” are supporting

It’s not as if we didn’t know that when you warm up a stew that the scum comes to the top.

OK, the “Arab Spring” was a surprise but we managed to get through the summer pretty quickly and had it back under control by autumn.

Libya was a great success – the biggest cost was the hotel for the bomber crews in Italy – but it was a late booking.

Syria has been a qualified success and would have been sewn-up by now had Cameron not screwed it up in the House of Commons. Miliband was amazed that he had somehow managed to avert the humanitarian bombing we had planned in support of the human heart eating zealots. (more scum)

I like the style of Vicky Nuland, our American cousin, who was dishing biscuits out to the protesters in the Kiev square one minute then proclaiming that the EU should be “fucked,” when they seemed a bit reluctant to get up to speed with sanctions against Russia.

It looks like Billy “fourteen pints” Hague is coming into his own again. With him fronting our response it will give them Ruskies a false sense of security

Helping your friends Osborne comes through for his friends.

Image

I’ve decided I’m rubbish at trying to explain my point of view.

I opined that our government had gifted millions of pounds to their friends and backers. The lady who was my interlocutor was cross that I hadn’t told her that she could have bid for £700 worth of shared and she would have made a 40% profit within a week.

When I told her that the outfit the Chancellor’s best man works for made £18 million, she replied, “Good for him – I wish I had.”

“But the difference between what the Government flogged it off for and what it’s worth is almost a £1 billion,” said I. “That was gifted to their friends and backers in the City. They’ve stolen that from the people.”

“Only you think that. Did you know I could have applied for £700 worth of shares? Enquired she.

“Fancy, I could have had £400 if it wasn’t for your principles.”

As my mother used to say throughout my teenage years, “Where did I go wrong? Where DID I go wrong.?