Boris Johnson is preparing a lethal blow to the NHS and not to reverse privatisation. But even the supposedly ‘left-wing’ Guardian has been hailing the news of an overhaul of NHS England as positive. The concept that Johnson would end privatisation is akin to believing in unicorns.
We must look at every new policy on the NHS as a stepping stone and this one is no different.
A leaked document revealed over the weekend Boris Johnson’s proposal to overhaul NHS England (NHSE). The Coalition Government created NHSE with the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA). The Act silmutaneously removed the duty to provide universal healthcare from the Health Secretary. Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England replaced the existing Primary Care Trusts. The Act was sold to us as ‘streamlining the NHS’ and giving GPs a say in what services are provided and giving patients choice. Ironically the Guardian is once again saying this new policy will get rid of bureaucracy and streamline the service.
Why plan an overhaul of NHS England?
The reality of the HSCA 2012 was very different to what we were told it would be. Most GPs are not involved in commissioning. As doctors they already have a huge workload The private healthcare providers soon started to realise that providing services is less lucrative than they had hoped. Patients are not happy. We have suffered the loss of services, difficulty getting to see a GP, increasing waiting lists and endless funding cuts. The HSCA ended up removing patient choice.
Undeterred from the Tory devotion to privatisation and free market economics, Boris Johnson hatched a new plan. Throughout the pandemic Johnson and Co have been handing huge contracts to private corporations without any competitive tendering. So a group of MPs decided to take the Government to Court over this. Now we are hearing that our Governement is literally throwing money at their defence of the indefencible. Read about the Court case here on Left Foot Forward.
Our Government is desperate for private corporations to make enormous profits from our NHS. And the HSCA 2012 is just not allowing Corporations to satisfy their greed. No prizes for guessing who the people in Government now are going to be working for when they leave office.
Why this is a lethal blow to the NHS?
So this overhaul of NHS England will grant some sort of legal status to Integrated Care Systems. Integrated Care Systems already exist and have led to the creation of Primary Care Networks and issues such as the closure of our walk-in centre. Hence all the fluffy and meaningless phrases such as ‘joined up thinking’ and ‘holistic care packages’. The reality is in fact we will have organisations who control the health services for an entire region. These organisations will get a set amount of money each year to spend and this will not depend on the population’s needs.
An ICS is a mirror image of Health Management Organisations (HMOs) in the US. The US Government uses HMOs to control spending on healthcare. It does this by by limiting the population’s access to healthcare. In the US the big money comes to the organisations that own HMOs. Read this shocking expose of the harm that HMOs are designed to inflict here.
If Boris Johnson wants to hand contracts to run our Integrated Care Systems to his mates then he needs to grant greater power to the Government. After all, the Tories do not want such costly court battles as the one they are in right now. So all this leaked document shows is that our Government is granting legal status to Integrated Care Systems. They are also granting themselves power to continue handing out major contracts without needing to lash out huge sums of money on their defence. This is all in preparation for the day when they can hand out highly lucrative contracts to run ICSs.
Our conclusions on this lethal blow to the NHS
We are so close to losing our NHS to greed. The greed of the big Corporations to profit from illness and the greed of our Government who will eventually get jobs with those Corporations. I never thought I would see a UK Government lie and cheat like I have seen since 2010. Even more shocking is when media organisations such as the Guardian which I once trusted support the lies. It is not some radical far-left idea that Governments must take care of the people who elect them. We have moved that Overton window so far to the right that people consider demands for a fully-funded health service as radical. It isn’t – it is basic humanity and we must never forget that.