It is with some considerable sadness that I have today added my name to a petition calling on the Liberal Democrats to withdraw their support for Andrew Lansley’s NHS reforms bill.
It is not that I am opposed to change in the NHS, indeed I belive that the NHS does need drastic reform.
For one it needs bringing back into the public sector following the disasterous privatisation of our hospitals through PFI by the Labour Party. The money we are wasting on interest payments to keep our hospitals open as a result of those schemes is draining the resources needed to provide the medical equipment needed to keep people alive.
It is also necessary for us to reverse Labour’s disasterous privatisation of walk-in clinics and out of hours GP care, which has simultaneously upped the bills and downed the service.
We need to end the situation where hospitals are paying for locum doctors through agencies because those doctors will not work directly for the hospital on less money, this situation is bleeding even more money out of the NHS and into the private sector.
We need to end the control that the big drugs and medical maufacturing companies have over the supposedly independent research into medicine, which means that any outcomes are driven by the needs of the funder rather than the needs of the patient.
We need to outlaw the practice of tidying up the medical records after the event so that there is syncrhonicity between the computerised records and the stated practice of the hosptials.
We need to stop the use of NHS facilities by private sector medics, and when private operations go wrong we need to charge for the NHS to put the work right.
We need to stop out ED’s being used as GP practices by people who are not registered with the GP system, we need to insist that foreign nationals show their medical cards before seeking service and where a vist to the ED results in an admission we need to charge appropriately where appropriate rather than just letting the care be given.
There are a lot of changes needed to be made to the NHS, and I had hoped that this bill would address some of those changes, which is why until now I have refrained from opposing it.
I see nothing in the bill that directly addresses any of the above issues, nor any of the plethora of other issues that I have with the way in which the NHS operates, and therefore I am prepared at this point in time to withdraw my support for these changes, and declare my opposition to them.
A great opportunity has been missed, I strongly regret that.