Last weekend I was lucky enough to be at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. I say lucky not only because it’s one of this countries most iconic sporting events and I was allowed to sing to the crowds, but lucky just to be there at all as treacherous weather conditions conspired against me and thousands of F1 fans travelling to Silverstone
The ramifications of the NHS bill have rightly been hitting the news this last week. As the government cloaks the reality of what the reforms actually mean, with the platitudes of nicely worded sound bites, my blood pressure has been starting to rise. My constant dinner table rants about how the NHS will turn into an Americanised system of privatised care deceptively disguised under the logo of the NHS, have started to annoy my wife.
According to this report, there is an increase in complaints about patients being unfairly removed from general practice lists. If the daily mail reporting of the story is to be believed, these decisions are left up to heavy handed receptionists and managers who act like overzealous doormen and will boot you “off the list” if you’ve dared to tut that the nurse is running late or are unfortunate enough to suffer from the wrong sort of ailment.
The government’s NHS reforms will mean a greater role than ever before for competition, markets and independent providers of healthcare. They will shift the NHS from a centrally managed system to a regulated industry, similar to the gas and telecoms sectors.
At the debate on patient-centred healthcare, at the Battle of Ideas festival at the end of October, two eminent GPs threw a good deal of cold water on the idea that patients want more choice. They argued strongly that the people they met in their surgeries wanted to leave decision-making to the doctors.
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