Monday, 3 October 2011

Trust the Tories on the NHS?
With no mention of the monumental NHS upheaval in their manifesto, the tories are asking us to trust them over their so-called ‘reforms.’ As today’s Guardian leader put it succinctly. 
“Take the question of competition. The Bubb report, which the government commissioned to calm fears of privatisation, proposed that the delicate balance between choice and planning should be settled by bureaucrats working up a "model" under a undefined "mandate" to be set out by the health secretary of the day. In other words: we've had the debate, so let's get the bill through and leave it to nice Mr Lansley to make sure the objections are dealt with.”
“An even more foundational question for the English NHS is the responsibilities of the secretary of state – the very duties which put the "national" into the health service. It is no secret that Andrew Lansley wants to do away with the idea of the state as medical provider, and move towards a regulated market that the state finances. This was reflected in the original bill: Whitehall's old obligations to "provide" hospitals were largely replaced with requirements to "promote" services....”
“A pithy report from the Lords constitution committee last week warned that breaking the chain of responsibility that connects Whitehall with NHS wards could threaten the right to a judicial review where a service is not available. With acuity, the committee asks why a government that claims no desire to curtail the health secretary's powers does not simply leave the existing statutes as they are. Its members, who include eminent figures of all stripes, including Conservatives, plainly don't think "trust us" is a good enough defence for this botched rewrite of crucial laws. The house as a whole should pay attention before second reading next week.” 
Trust the Tories? After they misled the electorate? After they broke their promise ‘not to introduce any major change in the NHS?  Trust Lansley* and his desire to privatise the NHS?
Trust the Tories? You must be joking.

*Lansley was the shadow minister who incurred the jeers and contempt of the Question Time audience when he revealed he 'earned' over £20k for "8-10" hours work a year, in addition to his salary as an MP. As several pithily pointed out he was getting more than most workers earn in a year. He is also the lobbyists friend. The private medicine lobby is highly effective at pushing at an open door and Lansley to be obliging has taken his door off it's hinges. 

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