The present and future NHS explained by Lucy Reynolds

Edited transcript of the interview published in the British Medical Journal

3 responses to “The present and future NHS explained by Lucy Reynolds

  1. EU rules require the Scottish Government to not charge non-UK ,EU students for tertiary education. The Nationalist government, looking to Scottish tradition and history, are relaxed about that and proud of our leading Universities, but the cost of Education tourism from England is potentially huge and something of a problem workload for one of my MSPs, the Education minister.

    That’s nothing compared with the potential for Health Tourism if the NHS is privatised in England and Scotland is independent and moving in the opposite direction. I am alerting the Scottish Parliament and government and I would very much like Lucy Reynolds to contact me at johnbdick@madasafish.com .

    Apart from anything else, this video in itself is enough to justfy a YES vote irrespective of any other consideration.

  2. [ I sent this email to my MP, Alan Reid, ScotLibDem Argyll and Bute with the link to the video.I also copied it to my Condstituency MSP, my seven Highland list MSP’s, the email address of the Scottish Cabinet and the Health and Sport committee.]

    [Link]
    The link above is to a video which is worth watching in full.

    The argument in the video is that the NHS in England is being set up for automatic, gradual but progressive, complete and irreversible privatisation.

    If the analysis is even partly correct and irrespective of the referendum outcome, the consequences for the Scottish NHS are complex and significant and there will be unforeseen and unintended consequences.

    If I were running the YES campaign, I would see to it that every member of NHS staff saw the video. Nothing the YES campaign themselves are likely to put out will be half so persuasive, and it might even persuade you yourself, in the privacy of the polling station, to vote YES.

    I hope you will make yourself and Scottish LibDem colleagues fully aware of the implications for your constituents which are important and mostly adverse, though very different, depending on whether Scotland is independent or not.

    If “NO”

    In the short term expenditure on the English NHS will increase, mostly paid for by direct funding from patients, but also by the costs borne by the exchequer. Scotland will benefit by Barnet consequentials which it does not need.

    How long this could continue when the predatory health providers are fully established in r-UK is uncertain.

    If “YES”

    If an independent Scotland can get rid of NewLabour’s target culture with its perverse incentives and wasteful administrative burden, then it can meet for some considerable time the costs of demographic changes, the unaffordabilty of which is being talked up by those whose real aim is either to profit from the NHS or destroy it for doctrinal reasons.

    What is unaffordable is NHS “benefit tourism” from England.

    A small number of NHS hospital admissions from England is to be welcomed to show how much better the NHS as it is in Scotland can be, and set an example to r-UK. I would be happy as a taxpayer for my government to fund that. We do that sort of thing now by helping Malawi. We cast our bread upon the waters in tertiary education to both immediate direct benefit and long term international reputational gain.

    Already I urge my friends and relations south of the border that if they need cardiac surgery they must find a way to get admitted to the Jubilee hospital where they will find a standard of excellence which it is difficult or impossible for them to imagine, especially if they read the “national” press.

    After independence a way will need to be found to stem a flood of sick migrants from r-UK. Mass health tourism is too easy.

    Of course this is an argument for “NO”. “Vote “NO” because an independent Scotland would be bankrupted by thousands of sick English people spongeing off the Scottish NHS.”

    Judging by the quality of the reasoning of some of the other arguments of the NO campaign, they might even think it was a good argument from their point of view.

    A possible outcome is that some future Scottish government could introduce charging to stem the tide of migrants, charge citizens (and possibly refund them) so as to be able do the same for EU nationals (assuming r-UK remains in the EU); or because of the demographic myth, or corruption.

    Please help your party colleagues who have constituencies in Scotland or are list MSP’s to become aware of the implications for their constituents by passing on the link.

    ________________________________________

    I received this reply.

    Dear Mr Dick

    Thank you for your email. You are mistaken – the NHS in England is not being privatised.

    Yours sincerely

    Alan Reid
    Alan Reid MP

  3. I received the above reply from Mr Reid sxteen mnutes after I had CCed to him the following email to the Editor of The Buteman, a local paper with saturation coverage on the Isle of Bute, (pop about 6000) The email was also CCed to my MSPs. Mike Russell is the constituency MSP(SNP). Rae Michie (Liberal) was widely respected and took the seat from a Conservative.

    I expect the letter will be published on Thursday

    To the Editor

    I can understand that Mike Russell [Buteman, March 22]is upset by his MP’s lack of activity because as the previous MP, Rae Michie, confided to me shortly after devolution, “MP’s postbags are empty” she said, “because the things that constituents write to their MP about are all devolved.” While the LibDems had the Scottish Parliament seat, the MP and MSP could go on photoshoots together, without attention being drawn to the fact that most of the issues were devolved.

    Mike Russell has this workload now, on top of what is possibly the largest ministerial workload. He should be more sympathetic though, because a LibDem leadership with a insouciant attitude to Highland casualties that calls to mind that of WW1 generals, has repelled the many anti-Cons who formerly voted Liberal. Overall they choose SNP to Labour roughly 2:1 but more to SNP in the Highlands and more to Labour in the Central Belt.

    Depending on how the LibDem vote breaks here, the remaining loyal Conservatives could win without gaining any votes at all, though the Conservative vote itself in Argyll, as the rest of Scotland, is in inexorable long term decline. Their voters do not go to the other parties, but to the crematorium.

    Alan Reid may wisely be spending much of his time working on his CV.

    Certainly he isn’t focusing on replying to me to allay my concerns that the government he supports is currently setting up the English NHS so that it automatically, progressively, and irrevocably privatises itself in such a way that will create huge collateral damage to the Scottish NHS whatever the Scottish Government does, and whether it is independent or not.

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