5 reasons to Drop the BillPosted: March 12, 2012
The government is planning the biggest re-organisation of the NHS since it began in 1948. It is an unnecessary, unwanted and damaging reorganisation which threatens to end the NHS as we know it. Here are five specific reasons why Labour is calling for the Bill to be dropped:
1. The Bill will break up the NHS and create an unfair postcode lottery. With no national standards, there will be widespread variation in the treatments available on the NHS. In some areas, people may have to go private to get services available for free elsewhere.
2. The Bill risks rises in waiting times and a two-tier NHS. It scraps the cap on hospitals treating private patients at the same time as watering down guarantees on NHS waiting times. This means local hospitals will be free to treat more private patients and make NHS patients wait longer.
3. The Bill turns the NHS into a full-blown commercial market, putting competition before patient care. It allows private companies to cherry-pick quick profits, potentially forcing local hospitals to go bust. Hospitals could even be fined for working together.
4. The Bill undermines the bond of trust between doctors and patients. It creates conflicts of interest where financial incentives could interfere with medical decisions. GPs could even get a bonus for rationing your care.
5. This Bill is wasting money and creating bureaucracy. It is unforgivable to spend £3.5 billion on a reckless re-organisation when the NHS needs every penny it can get for patient care. Nearly £1 billion is being wasted on pay-offs for managers, only for many of them to be re-employed as consultants.
Right now, the NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge in its history. But instead of focusing all of its energy on meeting this challenge, the NHS is being distracted by a dangerous upheaval that has no democratic legitimacy.