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Debates Forum

  1. 25 Jun '17 22:08 / 1 edit
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/24/united-states-healthcare-britain-insurance-confusing

    "My collarbone pointed out of my skin': a Briton and an American talk healthcare.
    What’s the difference between the healthcare systems in the United States
    and Britain, and what’s it like to move to America and adapt to a different system?"

    "Amanda: One thing I’ve learned from you and the other British people
    I know is that avoiding healthcare because of the cost is a very strange
    thing to be happening in a wealthy country. I can’t remember a time when
    I didn’t think: ‘Oh, you should only go to the doctor when you’re
    very ill, or it won’t be fixed by ibuprofen or cough medicine.’"
  2. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    25 Jun '17 23:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/24/united-states-healthcare-britain-insurance-confusing

    "My collarbone pointed out of my skin': a Briton and an American talk healthcare.
    What’s the difference between the healthcare systems in the United States
    and Britain, and what’s it like to move to America and adapt to a different system?"

    "Amanda ...[text shortened]... go to the doctor when you’re
    very ill, or it won’t be fixed by ibuprofen or cough medicine.’"
    The NHS is already well on the way to being fully privatised and charging is being slowly extended into new areas, notably some GP services. Indeed, Virgin is setting up a series of new contracts around the country as we speak, with a model for a three tier service according to willinginess to pay fees. The "NHS" really is no more than a brand name.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/08/two-tier-nhs-gps-allow-patients-pay-jump-the-queue-bournemouth

    "Family doctors in Bournemouth have set up the first private GP service at which people who pay up to £145 a time will be seen faster and get longer appointments than their NHS patients.

    The creation of the clinic has prompted fears that other GPs will follow suit and that NHS patients will become “second-class citizens” as general practice increasingly becomes a two-tier health service.

    "The three doctors running the Dorset Private GP service are offering “the unhurried, thorough, personal care we believe is best for patients” – at a price. Patients pay £40 for a 10-minute phone consultation, £80 for a 20-minute face-to-face appointment and £145 for 40 minutes with a GP."


    Hunt, the Health Secretary implementing privatisation and the sale of NHS assets, is a regular visitor to the Heritage Foundation in the US. His steady stream of new initiatives often coincide with his visits there.

    May does not need to win any elections or pass any legislation to implement these radical changes - it is all happening through so called secondary legislation - in other words, using the unfettered powers of the Health Secretary.

    e.g. "Sir Richard Branson’s health firm, Virgin Care, has won a £700m contract to deliver 200 types of NHS and social care services to more than 200,000 people in Bath and north-east Somerset.

    The contract, which was approved on Thursday, has sparked new fears about private health firms expanding their role in the provision of publicly funded health services.

    Virgin Care has been handed the contract by both Bath and North East Somerset NHS clinical commissioning group and Conservative-led Bath and North East Somerset council. It is worth £70m a year for seven years and the contract includes an option to extend it by another three years at the same price.

    It means that from 1 April Virgin Care will become the prime provider of a wide range of care for adults and children. That will include everything from services for those with diabetes, dementia or who have suffered a stroke, as well as people with mental health conditions. It will also cover care of children with learning disabilities and frail, elderly people who are undergoing rehabilitation to enable them to go back to living at home safely after an operation."


    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/nov/11/virgin-care-700m-contract-200-nhs-social-care-services-bath-somerset

    or this:

    "Richard Branson has just been awarded a £126million contract to take over services at hospitals in Kent.
    Virgin Care, which beat Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to the lucrative deal, will be able to run health services in the hospitals for the next seven years.
    At the end of this period, Virgin will have the opportunity to extend the contract for another three years. The deal follows a tendering process that began in November 2014.
    Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust provided wide-ranging care for people in the community, including home visits, care in nursing homes, health clinics, community hospitals, walk-in centres, minor injury units and mobile clinics.

    ...A spokesperson for the NHA Party told Metro.co.uk: ‘Virgin is very clever at putting together tender documents for public services and so far has won nearly 330 contracts for NHS services across the country. All operate under the NHS ‘logo’.
    ‘There are many other private health companies also operating as ‘the NHS’, behind the name. The change from a publicly provided NHS to a privately provided one is being done piece by piece and the extent of the change is being hidden by keeping the logo.


    Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/14/privatisation-of-nhs-continues-as-hospital-contract-awarded-to-richard-branson-5622396/#ixzz4l3eN6WLl
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Jun '17 12:19 / 1 edit
    So the gist of that is poor people get screwed, as usual. I wonder how many millions will not be able to see doctors under that program, while of course Branson adds a few billion more to his coffers. I wonder who will take over in the US? Jeff Bezos?
  4. 26 Jun '17 12:37 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by finnegan
    The NHS is already well on the way to being fully privatised....
    https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/nhs-in-a-nutshell/how-nhs-funded

    The relative contribution from each of these sources of finance – general taxation, National Insurance and user charges – has fluctuated over the years (see Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England 2014b).

    For example, the proportion of income from user charges, from a high of 5 per cent in 1960 remained at 1.2 per cent between 2007 and 2011 (Hawe and Cockcroft 2013).


    So funding through taxation basically remains at the historic high of 98.8%.

    (By the way, I recognise that privatisation is not just about how the NHS is funded, but the opening two quotes both make reference to this. So it is important to put this in the proper context and not simply resort to hyperbole.)
  5. 26 Jun '17 12:53 / 3 edits
    May does not need to win any elections or pass any legislation to implement these radical changes - it is all happening through so called secondary legislation - in other words, using the unfettered powers of the Health Secretary.


    Apart from the fact that secondary legislation is legislation (the clue is in the name), which can only be made under powers introduced by an Act of Parliament, and even then is subject to Parliamentary approval (so cannot be regarded as an unfettered use of power), this is all quite accurate.
  6. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    26 Jun '17 13:29
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/nhs-in-a-nutshell/how-nhs-funded

    The relative contribution from each of these sources of finance – general taxation, National Insurance and user charges – has fluctuated over the years (see Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England 2014b).

    For example, the proportion of income from ...[text shortened]... t 2013).


    So funding through taxation basically remains at the historic high of 98.8%.
    Those figures are up to 2011. This is 2017. So they do not cover Hunt's entire career implementing Heritage Foundation ideas with the stated intention to emulate USA models.

    I have referred to the ongoing introduction of new charges, not historic charges. They will not be publicly available - if they ever are - for some years to come.

    As pointed out in one of my sources, while the service is indeed primarily and overwhelmingly paid for through taxation, that public money is increasingly being siphoned off to the cost of procurement and administering private contracts and to the revenues of the private sector service providers. (Note that in the USA, 33% of health spending goes to administration - a failing model the Tories are seeking to emulate.)

    The figures you show do not include rising spending on private health services, which are made more profitable and more necessary by withholding investment from the NHS services. So for example, when Virgin imlements its charging system more widely, that will be represented as complementary - private services alongside NHS services. So technically, the "customers" will not be paying for NHS services and the NHS services will remain free at the point of use. . Clever - huh? Unless you are one of the millions waiting intolerable times for basic services. Private providers have an interest in allowing waiting times to increase and Hunt is working hard to make that happen.

    [Relevant anecdote: I recently waited three months for minor surgery to my finger for what developed into a third world style infection. It seemed trivial - albeit disgusting - but in reality had a significant impact on my ability to perform daily activites, including a complete halt to playing piano and trouble using computer keyboard. I had the option of a private operation at a cost in excess of £1,400, which would be done within 24 hours of payment, and had to resist family pressure to proceed with that. Had I done so that would not have been recorded as paying for an NHS service - it would be recorded as a choice to "go private." ]
  7. Standard member finnegan
    GENS UNA SUMUS
    26 Jun '17 13:45
    Here is an account of the Americanisation of the NHS, including the observation - I have said the same many times - that "The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 de-nationalised the NHS. By 2020 the American model will be embedded."

    http://publicmatters.org.uk/2017/06/24/the-americanisation-of-the-nhs-happening-right-here-right-now/
  8. 26 Jun '17 13:49
    Originally posted by finnegan
    Those figures are up to 2011. This is 2017. So they do not cover Hunt's entire career implementing Heritage Foundation ideas with the stated intention to emulate USA models.

    I have referred to the ongoing introduction of new charges, not historic charges. They will not be publicly available - if they ever are - for some years to come.

    As pointed ...[text shortened]... been recorded as paying for an NHS service - it would be recorded as a choice to "go private." ]
    I think the articles you posted make some good points, and I don't support some of the decisions GPs are being allowed to make.

    However, I also don't think it helps to resort to hyperbole when representing the NHS as being 'no more than a brand name'. You (and the Guardian) simply undermine your own case.

    I hope your finger is better now.
  9. 26 Jun '17 13:51
    Originally posted by finnegan
    By 2020 the American model will be embedded
    I think you know that is not going to happen in any meaningful sense.