Competition, and the opening up our of health service to any qualified providers will lead not only to fragmentation of care, but also potentially to a ‘two tier’ system with access to care defined by a patient’s ability to pay.
The above sentence was taken from a statement issued by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the body that your local doctor belongs to. Now it is fair to say, I suppose, that although the Body representing GP's has issued the statement, read it here, there are some within that Body who are clearly happy to go along with and support the proposed changes by the current government.
So, why am I worried about about the governments proposed changes. Well on a couple of counts, not least of all that the Lid Dems in the coalition are letting them get away with it, and two, the Conservatives have for so long been the party of denationalisation of every public institution.
While I have been in favour of some of the sell off's, in the main they have been disastrous for the British public:
BT- Was the first to go in November 1984 and I had no problem with that but that paved the way for everything else and with few exceptions it has been a nightmare for the poor and working class of the country. Once the Conservatives got a taste for it it was only a matter of time before everything else was in their sites and so it continued. And to be honest New Labour were not much different in their outlook on this either
Utilities- Gas, Electric and Water Sold off on the cheap and the British public have then been hammered into the ground with ever increasing costs and lousy service.
British Rail - broken up and sold off yet the private companies are given millions of pounds in taxpayers money every year
The one thing they couldn't sell of was the Health Service although many Conservatives for years have openly voiced their opinion that this too should be subject to 'market forces', and at last they seem to be driving this through if the statement by the RCGP proves to be correct.
I have an acquaintance on Twitter, an American Indie Author named Michael R Hicks. He recently left a well paid government job to take up writing full time and he recently posted a series of blogs as a means to help others who were thinking of giving up their day job to concentrate on writing full time. His first blog on the subject, read it here, aimed at fellow Americans, I am sure though, that it will give many in this country pause for thought as they read it. And it gave me pause for thought as I considered the implications that the American system would have on us here in the UK if we allow any government to allow a full or partial sell off of the NHS as we know it or by allowing 'market forces' to dictate the kind of treatment we all take for granted at the moment and that is largely free to all in the UK, even to those who are not entitled to it!
There is absolutely no doubt that some form of reform is needed, but as more and more people are thrown on the scrapheap of unemployment or as I have said before, that there are not the jobs available due to changes in technology, how will the 'masses' ever be in a position to pay for medical care. Michael Hicks is lucky, but then again that is relative to his particular situation, in that he can afford a basic level of health insurance, but again and through choice, a level greatly less than what he has been used to for himself and his family. How many of the working class people in this country could afford what he is paying, I couldn't, could you? I am not sure of the conversion rate but he is paying $600 per month, so that's about £450 in our money but in reality if they have to use the cover it is going to cost them a whole lot more.
I can see a lot of BSkyB subscriptions having to be cancelled although the cost of that would probably not even cover one months health care, so as The RCGP says in its statement, (there will be a), " ‘two tier’ system with access to care defined by a patient’s ability to pay."
I am astonished that the Lib Dems are allowing this to be put through, but I suppose that that is 'the price of power' in this instance. As I said earlier The RGCP as a body have issued their statement against it, but others are for it and some changes have already taken place and from my point of view at least I see no logic to it. I wrote last year that I has seen my doctor and that an appointment was to be made for me to see a specialist. Short version of that was, that my appointment was to be booked through a 'new' agency set up by a group of local GP's, who would be paid for this service, but the booking still had to go through the booking system of the hospital, read that here. In other words we have two groups booking the same appointment and both groups costing money! Now if that is part of the reform, where we are spending money needlessly on two sets of staff and two booking systems to make one appointment, how long before there is no money for treatment and every patient is going to have to pay for the treatment they need at the time, or before, the treatment is given?
Of course Politicians, Civil Servants and Bankers will do all right out of this as they will, like Michael in America prior to giving up his government job, be well looked after with their health insurance cover, but for the masses they are going to have to rely on charity and luck to hopefully receive even a basic level of assistance when they fall ill and unless they are given a free prescription along with their charitable medical visit, the first will be pointless as the latter will not be affordable....
As a result of some of the things happening in his own country Michael has started a new website called Reboot Society and he has some interesting ideas, ideas that are not only applicable to an American perspective, take a look...