A lot has happened since a group of us met in December to talk about our frustrations about the reforms that the Conservative government are proposing. We were brought together by 38 Degrees who also have a fantastic petition on their website. You may have heard of 38 Degrees in the news recently as they have been instrumental in the success that we’ve had in convincing a Government U-turn on their plans to sell off our forests and woodland!
Since then, we’ve petitioned in the hospital, on the streets of York, marched with York Stop the Cuts, and I spoke at a recent public meeting organised by York Stop the Cuts.
The reforms will lead to the privatisation of our health system, forcing the NHS to compete on price with private companies (such as those based in USA), allowing them to undercut NHS services, to cherry-pick the ‘best’ patients such as those with no serious underlying illnesses for elective surgery. The NHS will lose out if their services are not used and are only left with patients with very serious (and therefore expensive) problems. The evidence out there do not support the notion that price competition will improve health outcomes.
GP commissioning may sound nice to some, but the plans are not based on evidence. This is a plan to allow GPs to control 80% of the £100 billion NHS budget and for them to order healthcare according to local need, from any willing provider. Primary Care Trusts who are charged with commissioning healthcare now, will be forced to close. They will be replaced with 500 GP consortia who are unaccountable to the public and will still run by managers (those made redundant from PCT scrapping and private managers) who will not understand clinical need. GPs will find it a struggle to fit in commissioning work in between their already stretched clinical duties. Besides, they don’t have the skills to commission healthcare.
GP commissioning is the bait, with privatisation as the hook lying in wait to undermine the NHS.
Despite the RCN, BMA, all the Royal Colleges and David Cameron’s brother-in-law-cardiologist speaking out against the plans, and the BMJ calling them ‘mad’, the Government still think it’s a good idea to spend £3 billion on these reforms when we have £20 billion in cuts. But they thought selling off our forests were a good idea too.
This is isn’t surprising. Oliver Letwin himself declared that the “NHS will not exist under Tories“.
The Health and Social Bill is currently going through Parliament now and we need to put on the pressure on our MPs – especially if you live in York Outer as Julian Sturdy is a Conservative and is on the Committee that’s amending the Bill at the moment – we need to pile on the pressure!
Here are some simple things you can do:
1. Sign this petition
2. And sign this 38 Degrees petition too.
3. Write a letter to your MP and let us know if they reply.
4. Come to our meetings.