12 March 2012

Just sent this to my MP in the hope that he will vote against the Healthcare bill.  I used 'Write to Them' so he should have received the email by now (well, presumably one of his people will have and will hopefully be putting it with the many other messages he receives on the same subject, hopefully all politely asking him to oppose the healthcare bill):

John Hemming MP
Birmingham, Yardley

Monday 12 March 2012

Dear John Hemming,

please vote against the healthcare bill. If passed this will set the stage for the destruction of the NHS and decent healthcare in the UK. The NHS is the envy of people in many countries, pretty much all of them except those that have a similar system themselves. Something this good we need to keep.

It is apposite that it be called the Healthcare bill as the end result will be that we get bills every time we access healthcare. Also, please near in mind that the bodies that represent those working in healthcare oppose the bill, as do the rank and file of your own party, and there is no voter mandate from any election to pass this legislation. The only ones who seem to be in favour are the Tory party (and not even all of them).

We have seen from the US the horror that is marketised healthcare. Please keep us off that road. Please oppose the Healthcare bill

Yours sincerely,

Recent behaviour by the Tory party does make me wonder if they've realised that they will lose the next election and they want to mess the country up as much as possible and make as much cash as possible so they can push off somewhere else and leave Labour to clean up their mess.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Had a mail back from John Hemming asking me which clauses I'm against. I have responded:


without going to the individual Part, Chapter, Para and Sub-Para, my main concerns are around:

* Removal of strategic management and oversight of healthcare and dissolution/deauthorisation of the bodies currently responsible for that. This comes into most parts of the bill.
* The consequential placing of de facto strategic decision making in the hands of frontline clinitcians. Mostly Part 1, 24 et seq
* Removal of many public health checks and monitoring. Mostly Part 2
* Ramping up and further introduction of competitive tendering. Mostly Part 3

In some areas of life price is the important factor, when I choose my gas supplier I look at price as I know that any difference in price is down to factors which don't impact on the quality of service I receive. Who ever I pay my bill to it's the same gas that is delivered to my cooker. In other areas of life price is a very poor factor to use to judge which supplier to go with. Healthcare is one of those areas, there I'm mostly worried about outcomes, if I'm ill I want to be cured. We have seen the problems of marketisation with the US healthcare system and in social care in this country where increasing privitisation of nursing homes has lead to a race to the bottom where each home uses as an excuse for cutting staff and care the fact that they are 'competitive' with other suppliers or, as a former school friend and now care home owner put it, "We might be crap but we're not as crap as some of the others".

The issue with scrapping strategic control and putting it in the hands of local clinicians is that whilst they may have a very good idea of what their own pool of patients need they will not have the overall view or, probably, the skill set to make the long term plans across the whole raft of services (they have a different set of skills that are useful in a different arena, similar to how at work I don't expect the CEO to fix my PC and I don't expect a helpdesk technician to prepare the business plan for the next 5 years). We need that strategic view at arms length from the 'trenches' to take in the overall picture. I am also concerned that coupled with the marketisation this might incentivise clinicians (in particular GPs) to look to remove from their lists (or prevent from ever getting on their lists) people who have or are likely to develop costly conditions (e.g. those with a familial risk for cancers) so as to save their budget. The current strategic authorities can at least amortise the costs of such conditions across a wider pool of patients.

Those are my key, but not only, concerns about the bill.



The problem is that the bill is such that to oppose one clause is to oppose them all. It's a bad bill.