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Monday, 17 January 2011

Upstairs downstairs - NHS reform


Government plans for reform of the National Health Service are under fire before they have been officially published. While cutting expenditure left, right and centre the Government has already made a start in lining the pockets of the private sector. The average patient may be more than a little bemused that General Practices that cannot cope with patient demands for appointments will be expected to spend billions of pounds trying to arrange appropriate care from a business led delivery service which puts profit first.

Despite his Freudian slip, Mr Cameron heaps praise on the NHS based on his family's experience of maternity care and the care of his disabled child. If I were PM or any other high profile minister with my wife in a maternity hospital I would be amazed if the staff didn't ensure that the service provided was more than adequate. In reality there are endless stories of crises in the maternity service. At the other end of life's span, 'care' of the elderly is often atrocious sometimes bordering on cruelty. Treatment for Illness during life's journey can be a lottery. The care Ivan Cameron received before his early death was clearly appreciated by his bereaved parents but is not typical. He benefited from a purpose-built medical centre in the basement of his home but many have to struggle to survive, often in poverty and receive indifferent care when it is needed most.  

Whatever Mr Cameron's experience of the NHS it certainly isn't typical. He benefits from a system in which private care is available to the wealthy until complex treatment is needed, then the NHS picks up the tab. That change is necessary is undeniable. Whether this is the way to go about it must be a huge political gamble and may yet come to haunt him. - Claire Rayner's dying words were “Tell David Cameron that if he screws up my beloved NHS I'll come back and bloody haunt him.”

1 comment:

  1. Cameron 'family experience' unlikely to match mine.
    Cameron would know this if his head were 'out here'.
    Cameron should know better than to suggest our experience would match his.
    A competent leader would not make such a mistake.