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By Jenny Shepherd, Jul 26 2016 08:08PM


Is it SAFE?
Is it SAFE?

I've just spent the best part of 2 hours laid flat on my back with my mouth forced wide open with plastic and metal while the dentist drilled, sprayed and drilled repeatedly to complete the dreaded minor surgery that is the Root Canal. It's fairly hideous. First the injection to numb, then the pick, then the drill. Drills. Slow sledgehammer to ultra-thin needles to scrape and purge the nerve. 45mins of NHS torture which will cost me £53.80. Bargain.


But it's not over. Disinfectant which lets the back of your throat know what the toilet bowl feels being sprayed by Harpic. Finally the filling and the joy of prepping the tooth for a crown. Irony. You drill for 45mins. Fill the hole. Then drill again!


What's all this got to do with the NHS I hear you ask? Well... as an NHS patient I had to decide what quality of crown i wanted - or rather which grade of crown I thought was worth paying for. A standard NHS crown was £200. I didnt go into great detail but that basically would be a strong but incredibly ugly piece of metal. The slightly better one was £400 and this would have been very strong and durable but not white. Then the final option - the "best" - was the £500 Zirconium ( i think I cant honestly remember because I'm still reeling at the price three weeks after being told) which is strong and made to match the colour of your own teeth.


Throughout the whole ordeal of bleach and burning enamel


I was thinking long and hard about the nature of the NHS we could lose and find ourselves lumbered with. The menu for treatment is a reality we have all gotten used to with the dentist. And it will become that way with NHS clinical treatment too. We won't lose the blue logo or the idea of the NHS but we will lose the "comprehensive and universal" element. It wont cover all emergencies and it won't cover everyone - just those who can afford to pay.


You'll turn up at A&E, or your consultant appointment and you will presented with a menu of options - Patient Choice no doubt will be the branding - and you will have to select what you think you can manage to cope with financially. Don't worry if you're not prepared with insurance or a fat bank balance - the basic will still be paid for by the general tax payer community. The basic cover. If you want a nice finish or a comfortable bed with breakfast and decent follow up care you might just need to go for the top-up options.


It has to be this way because the new model of NHS being imposed on us now by NHS England and NHS Improvement (love that name) needs to keep the internal market in control of our NHS. It has to be Sustainable you see... find out about Sustainability


How else are private providers going to keep increasing profits year after year?


In the USA the medical insurance profession has produced a system that gives them the most profit. Obamacare and Medicare cover the basics of healthcare - even then you really have to fight for it - and then if you can afford it you can pay dividends, top-up fees. It's a "pay-as-you-go-if-you-can" system. And, to use the American venacular, it SUCKS!


According to Investopedia : A study done at Harvard University indicates that this is the biggest cause of bankruptcy, representing 62% of all personal bankruptcies. One of the interesting caveats of this study shows that 78% of filers had some form of health insurance, thus bucking the myth that medical bills affect only the uninsured.


Read more: Top 5 Reasons Why People Go Bankrupt | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/slide-show/top-5-reasons-why-people-go-bankrupt/#ixzz4FXWecRym


This makes even worse reading : CBNC REPORT



Here in the UK the government know it would be political suicide if they declared an end to the NHS. So it's safer to keep the blue logo flying. Safer to disguise the layers of "pay-if-you-can" and pretend it is still the NHS that is the public's head - free at the point of use unless you want "the best". But if you watch and listen carefully they are telling us. It's coming to the end.


Jeremy Hunt in this video (courtesy of our friends KOSHH): Keep Our St Helier Hospital


And Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS MEDICAL DIRECTOR, in his Report on Urgent Care said: "We already have a two tier system and all we (NHS England) are doing is formalising that and bringing an inconvenient truth to the attention of the public". LINK


But the reality is, as NHS campaigner's are fully aware, we could lose everything that is caring about our NHS. The ability to provide what was once the world's best healthcare, the best medical training of nurses, doctors and clinical staff, the best research, the best influence and control on the mammoth financial monster that is the pharmaceutical drug industry.


If you can understand how the system works for the dentist you'll understand where the new NHS is heading. NHS Basic, NHS Better, NHS Best. Depending on what you think you can afford.


Oh... I'm lucky. I have a credit card. I chose the best. I'll be paying for it for the next six months.


But we can stop it. We need the Best NHS - an world-class institution founded once more according to Bevan's vision of a society caring for its citizens' health. A return to a fully public NHS - funded by us, run by us and accountable to us - can only happen if we pressurise our MPs to act out our wishes.


And this is why we need more fighters. Find a campaign group near you, talk to your friends, your neighbours, your workmates. Together the public really could make a difference. The best difference.


FIND A CAMPAIGN GROUP




By Jenny Shepherd, Mar 19 2016 09:24AM


Where were Labour?
Where were Labour?


Friday 11th March

Caroline Lucas presented the NHS BILL (formerly NHS Reinstatement Bill). It was an opportunity for the Labour Party to get behind something that (no matter how imperfect it might technically as a Draft Bill) set out clear aims to bring back the NHS into public hands again. Taking the private market culture out of it and making it impossible for private corporations to control - as they are doing now in our understanding.


Deborah Harrington gives us this brilliant thought as to why Labour chose not to support it with MPs attendance at the debate - despite over 42,000 signatures on a 38 Degree petition.


Thanks Deborah.


Some context for those who don't get the point of the NHS Bill and think there is no problem with Labour not turning up to support it.


The first problem of note is Simon Stevens.


Simon Stevens was an NHS manager. He became a health policy advisor to Alan Milburn, in 1997, along with Mark Britnell and Penny Dash. He was also a Labour councillor in Lambeth.


He introduced the first privatisations into the NHS, including the Foundation Trusts (making them arm's length business units, rather than publicly owned services), PFI, and bringing United Health in to run the first privatised GP practices, among many other things. (Hansard evidence click)


In 2006 he went to work for United Health (the US's largest private healthcare corporation) in their Europe division, and in 2008 as president of global operations.


(Mark Britnell went on to KPMG and Penny Dash to McKinsey, where her role has included being a Trust Special Administrator - a role created by Labour)


In that role Stevens led a lobby group, lobbying the US Trade Dept to use trade laws to break open public health services worldwide to create access for US markets. United Health also lobbied against Obama's affordable care act.

In 2014 the Coalition brought him back as NHS England's CEO. Within a few months he had produced the 5 Year Forward View, which is what all your hospitals are suffering under, all the closures, reductions in service, land sales.


The 5YFV is completing the implementation of the H&SCA (2012). Labour calls Lansley's Act the reorganisation of the NHS, as if it is done and dusted and behaves as if everything else is just a consequence of the de-funding. It isn't. It is the constant restructuring of the 5 YFV. The money is being used as a lever to get the changes made - comply and you'll be bailed out, is the message.


Labour welcomed Stevens' appointment and support the 5 YFV. You can't oppose privatisation of the NHS and simultaneously support Stevens.


The second problem of note

is private sector involvement in the NHS and public ownership.


No matter what the Labour Party says, it appears to have no intention of renationalising the Foundation Trust hospitals, which is essential if they are not to be sold off as hospital chains to foreign investors (one of the next privatisation steps).


It is impossible to get the Labour Party to commit to Bevan's principles. Efford's Bill was not a proper 'NHS' bill. They refuse to support the actual NHS bill on the grounds that it is another 'top down reorganisation'. This is based on three things: 1. that the NHS staff don't want any more reorganisations. This is not true. Staff know the NHS is in a broken up mess. They need it to be put back together. But Simon Stevens says, in the 5YF that staff do not want another reorganisation (as he downgrades, closes and restructures all our services), and Simon is god like in the infallibility of his pronouncements according to all the main Parliamentary parties. 2. That everything is just settling down after Lansley's Act. It isn't, as explained above. 3. They don't understand the bill's provisions for returning to Bevan's NHS, because they don't understand anything about the nuts and bolts of health provision.


And Labour is quite happy to sell off our public land and assets. They also had no problem with massive restructuring for the purposes of privatisation. It is only restructuring to bring it back into public ownership they object to.


The Bill itself was totemic. In the face of piss poor opposition to date from Labour to the Coalition's and now the Tories' brutal destruction (they would have had to confess -and renounce- their role in the privatisation to successfully oppose) their support for the bill would have been a marker of intent on their part. And, with the SNP support + Lucas herself would have indicated the start of a progressive alliance that might have posed a real threat to the government. Unfortunately that's of little interest to a large section of the PLP.


It should be a matter of concern to the Corbynistas that John McDonnell was happy for Labour MPs to attend and vote in favour of the bill. He thought any problems could be dealt with in committee stage. But Labour Central issued the standard reply to be sent to constituents by all MPs, presumably against his will? - and Corbyn's? - on Thursday, saying they all had constituency duties, when they had had months of notice and could have rearranged their schedules for the day.


You have to understand that this is a story of corporate capture of our democratic processes, not a question of party political purity. United Health, McKinsey, KPMG, PwC and others are making the decisions about our NHS - on behalf of both the Tories and Labour. New Labour introduced New Public Management - the idea that government is about management of an entrepreneurial culture, not about political ideology. They brought think tanks and management consultants in to take the place of the civil service. The same management consultants whose major clients are global corporations. We need to fight this corruption of our democracy. Then the Labour Parliamentary party might return to the values most of its supporters old and new hold dear.



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