Save the NHS from the market.
I went up to Stafford Hospital on 2nd March 2013 just after it was put in administration (actually not receivership as I say in the video – sorry) and here’s my impression
We should look after each other because we care about each other; not in order to make a profit out of it.
The NHS is getting too commercial along American lines and I want to stop it and return it to its original vision or looking after each other because we care about each other.
Commerce demands that you parcel up a commodity into units and price them. Some activities in medicine apprea to lend themselves to such treatment but many don’t and even the ones that appear to be suitable for market treatment don’t work properly on that model when you get down to the practice of it.
Commerce tends to want to maximise profit and minimise effort and expenditure. So private medicine has an incentive to try to “Cherry-pick” the easiest conditions to treat in the fittest patients, leaving the hard cases in sick people to the poor old NHS hospital which also picks up the bits when the easier cases unexpectedly go wrong and need intensive care or a revision operation or the like.
I don’t want the bad practices of the old system such as the iniqitious practice of surgeons running long waiting lists so as to make their private practice more attractive. In the past some consultants played too much golf and didn’t turn out at night as they should have and some talked down to patients. We don’t want that but we do want the altruism and service ethos or th old systme before Mrs Thatcher introduced the internal market.
Many doctors in the health service are punch drunk by all the successive changes and now just keep their head down and get on with their limited clinical work rather than concerning themselves with the running of the system as a whole and the philosophy of the service.
I want us to dream again that we can have the purity of the original vision. I am afraid lots of doctors should be paid less. Lots of cleaners should be paid more and be more secure in employment as valued parts of the team – in house rather than contracted out.
I specially think elderly care ( link to the second video on a sub page) should be done by the government and organised in a government run organisation rather than us all being forced to pay businessmen to look after us for commercial profit. Looking after our elderly is something we know we are going to have to do a lot of so let’s get it organised in house and do it ourselves (ie the government do it and organise it in a way that makes the service efficient and kind and incidentally cheaper to run).