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Author Topic: The Offensive on Health Requires Health Workers to Take up Politics to Safeguard  (Read 2829 times)

roger

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The Offensive on Health Requires Health Workers to Take up Politics to Safeguard the Future of the NHS

Form North East Workers' and Politics - Special Durham Miners Gala Issue - Publication of Northern Region RCPB(ML)

At a time, when it has become clear to everyone that the economic system of paying the rich is wrecking the entire economy of Britain let alone achieving a stable economy that meets people’s needs,  the Labour Government has as one of its final missions in  to continue its drive to import the market economy into the NHS and other public services. 
   Whilst throwing huge sums at “commissioning” private and public sector health  care the government has also announced  its plan to cut the NHS budget  by £15-20 billion  in 2010-11. The constant imposition of “investment with reforms” and now “cutback” led “reforms” constitute this incoherent offensive aimed at the NHS  to continue to drive through the pay the rich economy and the marketisation of the NHS come what may. 
   On May 7 2009, the Department of Health has issued a new commercial operating model policy for the NHS and Department of Health authored by Mark Britnell NHS director general for commissioning and system management called Necessity-Not Nicety.  Just one month later  on June 11, 2009 the Health Service Journal announced that Mark Brittnell was quitting the NHS to join a private European health care  company KPMG.  He was expected, according to the report to play a leading role in KPMG’s health practice having created the conditions to further open up the NHS to the private health care monopolies.
   Mark Britnell was also responsible for launching the government’s world class commissioning drive, and he recently established the co-operation and competition panel to ensure access of the private sector to the healthcare market. 
Necessity – Not Nicety  is not just a  “model policy” because the crux of this “reform” is to provide vast sums of public investment to “ensure that the third and private sectors have a clear and visible point of commercial contact in each region.”   
   In the jargon of these things there is little attempt to hide the fact that public investment is not for  investing in health but for ensuring that the NHS is more and more turned into a commercial market where European and global monopolies can operate and dictate.
   Where this already happens as in the United States such “investment” from public funds means that 1 in 3 US dollars is spent on administering this market for the health care monopolies.
   Just as a health care market in the US eats up huge investments it also produces massive inequalities in the provision of health care and fails to provide any right to health care for millions of people.
   Health workers everywhere and many of those that manage the health care system are totally opposed to this marketisation of the NHS that the government seems hell bent on pushing through.  The other big parties are also intent on a similar pay the rich policy towards the NHS and public services.
   There can be no solution for health workers in relying on the status quo.  Health workers want real change that stops the rich being paid out of the public purse and invests in the public health care system so that it meets the needs of all at the highest level  of a modern health care system. 
 At this time, we encourage health workers to take up politics and encourage their own health worker politicians to intervene in the political process with a programme for healthcare which they control to safeguard the future of the NHS.
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roger

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The news that Darzi had quit his post as health minister took many by surprise. But it is hardly surprising when the investment that that was given to Darzi to use for his experiment is about to be stopped and massive cuts made.  The Darzi reforms have gone a long way to creating the market in primary and secondary care that the pay the rich system demands. The commissioner provider split on which billions have been spent without improving health care in any significant way is now being prepared for the big axe now it has outdone its usefulness.   The pay the rich system is not interesed in hundreds of busy bodies commissioning services and interfering in their affairs when they increasingly provide worse services and pocket the money which is already the order of the day.  So they will cut the "commissioners" down to a manageable size, whilst they slash and burn what has taken the NHS over 60 years to establish.  It is interesting that in Darzi's resignation letter contains a flash of a concscience in what a crime this is. Having set in motion this monster he  says:  "The NHS is the greatest expression of social solidarity found anywhere in the world: it is as much a social movement as it is a health system. It is not just that we stand together but what we stand for: fairness, empathy and compassion. It is for these reasons that we all care so deeply about its future; and it is why I stand ready to contribute to ongoing efforts to invest in and improve the NHS, in any way I can."  

In other words my reforms were different to what you have in mind don't associate me withthe slash and burn of the NHS.  I am sorry Mr Darzi your reforms are not even the other side of the coin they are part and parcel of giving the pay the rich system a new lease of life in in such vital public service as the NHS that you name will forever be linked with it.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 07:36:56 am by roger »
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roger

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These are extracts form the Healh Service Journal.


The number of managers has indeed risen sharply under Labour. NHS Information Centre data reveals that between 1998 and 2008 the number of managers rose 76 per cent from 22,693 to 39,913, while the number of professionally qualified clinical staff rose 171,593 - 32 per cent - to 701,324. In addition the number of support staff in “central functions” rose 34,275 - 48 per cent - to 105,354.

The conservative shadow health minister Mr Lansley has repeatedly attacked the “bloated health service bureaucracy”. In a World at One interview on 3 September, for example, he cited an 80 per cent rise over five years in the administration costs of primary care trusts. In a similar vein he can reel off all the working groups and administrative superstructure which his local strategic health authority - East of England - established in response to the Darzi review.

Mr Lansley plans to move much more commissioning power from PCTs to GPs. HSJ understands the Conservatives are likely to require all GP practices to become practice based commissioners. Most of their commissioning functions would be performed through federations of GP practices operating as consortiums.

But there are two problems with this. First, many GPs will not want to become commissioners. Shadow health minister Mark Simmonds told HSJ that using companies such as Humana would be an option where GPs did not want these new powers.

He said: “There may…be circumstances where if there’s a continuing reluctance [from GPs] we may have to bring in others to commission on their behalf.”

Groups of GPs would be allowed to select another GP consortium, the PCT or a private firm to do the commissioning, he said.

These are selected extracts from a report in the health Service Journal which warns of the Conservatives plans to cut the commissioners in PCTs as we forecast and hand the role over over to GPs and the private sector. Humana is mentioned by the "shadow minister". Of course what the article fails to point out that the present scenario that has led to all these managers in commissioning is an attempt to hand services over to the private sector by commissioning. And a cursory look at Humanas website is that this big US health monopoly is already involved in commssioing services via PCTs for New Labour.

They may have slightly different plans for the health service which each party uses to try and capture support from GPS or PCTs but they amount to the the same anti-social direction.

We must oppose both.  Our own direction is for  further socialistation and provision of health care to meets the needs of the whole population as a fully integrated and seamless public service. For example,we need to go further in ending the situation where private drug monopolies are alowed to dictate and reap massive profits. Also we need to take back into public contol PFI hopsitals and services.  We need our own politicians from our own ranks that are accountable to us and a programme for health which we decide on and control over our economy to put the claim of the peoples health in first place replacing the claim of the monopolies over the economy that all of these big parties represent.

In short we need to break the monopoly of these parties over the political and health agenda and break the claim that they represent for the finance and monopoly capitalist interests.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 10:13:48 am by roger »
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