What you might have missed

Apologies for the lack of original material. A new post on the theme of the sceptical healthcare consumer will be up soon. Meanwhile here are some of the more original, important, informative articles from the last 2-3 weeks:

Seven former presidents of the Faculty of Public Health accuse the Prime Minister of ploughing ahead with an “unprecedented marketisation” of services, which poses a “major threat” to the integrity of the NHS.In a letter to Mr Cameron, the group warns:

“The Bill is likely to produce a ‘patchwork quilt’ health system that will vary hugely across the country, failing to meet the diverse needs of the population and undermining the health of vulnerable, minority groups.” Independent Jan 1st.

Christmas is a time to count our blessings, reflecting how they came to be. For people living in England this reflection is more relevant than ever, as the coalition government paves the way for the demise of the welfare state. This statement will be seen by many as reckless scaremongering. The welfare state, not only in Britain but also throughout western Europe, has proved extremely resilient.1 How could any government bring about such a fundamental change? The assault on universalism: how to destroy the welfare state. Martin Mckee et al. BMJ 20.12.2011

we are seeing the return to the Thatcher doctrine that people should expect to pay for private care, either out of pocket or through insurance, and that those of us who could not afford private care would, like the queues of patients waiting for their MRI scan in that 80s hospital, be second in line to the private patients. Memories of Paul, NHS Vault 29.12.2011

Bevan’s run: January 10-15th, 2012. 160 miles in 6 days from Aneurin Bevan’s Statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health, Richmond House, Whitehall, London. To protest against the Health and Social Care Bill and NHS privatisation. Calling at Witney (David Cameron’s constituency). On day 6 (Sunday 15th Jan): High Wycombe to London (Richmond House, Whitehall). We aim to get to Richmond House at about 2-3pm. We will publish route soon, but anyone that wants to join in could meet us in Uxbridge. (Details of meeting point to follow). We will post Bevan’s Postcard to Department of Health. There will be speeches.

Market Failure in Healthcare Part 1: Market Failure in Theory The theory of market failure in healthcare was first described by Professor Kenneth Arrow in 1963 in his seminal paper,Uncertainty and the welfare economics of medical care“.

 Gordon Brown also addressed this issue in a speech to the Social Market Foundation (SMF) in 2003, which summarized the problems of market failure very well.  In fact Brown was so concerned that he stated the following:
“Indeed, the case I have made and experience elsewhere leads us to conclude that if we were to go down the road of introducing markets wholesale into British health care we would be paying a very heavy price in efficiency and equity and be unable to deliver a Britain of opportunity and security for all”
“The very same reasoning which leads us to the case for the public funding of health care on efficiency as well as equity grounds also leads us to the case for public provision of healthcare”. Gordon Brown, SMF speech 2003 Clive Peedell, Bevan’s run
Those who doubt the extent of Tory industrial intent need look no further than Cambo himself. Only last November, he told us – during a speech that was meant to be about exports and growth – that he wanted to ‘drive the NHS to be a fantastic business’. No doubt that will include some token assurances about the importance of customer service, but there, plain for all to see, the emphasis is on business. And then, out of the blue, the French breast implant story burst upon us. This a story with more ironical twists in it than a trotter’s tail, and enough inbuilt innuendo to fuel a full-on Carry On film. Dr No, Double D C*ck Up

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