While no one would claim it is perfect, the NHS is generally recognised as being one of the world’s best health services, in terms of universal availability, health standards and low overall cost compared to other developed countries. By comparison, the system in the USA is one of the worst in terms of both universal availability and overall cost. Before last year’s general election Cameron promised his government, if elected, would not embark on any major reorganisation of the NHS. Now Lansley claims that the bill which comes before the House of Commons on Tuesday, will “change it beyond recognition” – and the changes would push us very close to the failed USA system. This is a far more serious breach of promise than Clegg’s let-downs over tuition fees and VAT increase, but the media are concentrating on the relatively minor side-issue of abortion.
Why do ministers want to do this? I can only see one possible reason. They can see large sums of public money being spent, with very little of it being siphoned off into the pockets of their rich friends and relatives by way pf private company profits, and that is what they are determined to change. The changes in the bill will achieve just that.
The most pernicious clause in the bill is the one which removes the duty of the Secretary of State for Health to provide a health service. This clause will totally remove all democratic accountability for the NHS. Everyone should email their MP now to demand, ideally that the whole bill be scrapped, but certainly the removal of this particular clause.
This entry is being cross-posted to my Live Journal blog.