From yesterday’s local and national news emerged the shocking story that the Haxby and Wiggington practice in York had written to its patients claiming that a range of minor treatments were no longer funded by the NHS and instead were being offered for a fee. The private options they offered included HBG Ltd., a company that is wholly owned by the practice.
This is indicative of what is to come from the Health and Social Care Bill, with GPs potentially making profit from some services, services being lost to private companies due to the cutbacks in the National Health Service, and an increasingly blurry line between private and public health care.
John Appleby, chief economist of the King’s Fund says ‘there is is a massive conflict of interest here. The GP is earning money potentially from referring the NHS patient to his own private practice.” This is exactly what the consequences of the Health and Social Care Bill will be.
Hopefully this news, as much as it shows how bad things have really got, has done all those who love and want to maintain a national health service free for all at point of use, a great favour. By bringing the issues and problems association with the Bill into the public domain. For debate, discussion and dispute from the public, professionals and politicians.
On the evening of Friday 11th November there will be a public meeting in York for discussion and debate about the changes to the NHS, what this could mean for York and how we can stop the Health and Social Care Bill. Where better to engage with people about the issues and the actions we can take than York? The place that has caught media attention in an unprecedented move towards the privatisation of our health service.
Watch this space…