Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An NHS Burning and in Chaos

Although the rhetoric of ‘choice’ implies patients having a greater variety of health care options from which to choose, the reality is that patients and communities are experiencing a range of closures, cut-backs and disruptions to their local services

This reveals an NHS in a state of shambles and disorder. No one can argue that the
various assaults upon the NHS are the result of patients’ choices or the culling of inefficient services (as claimed by the prophets of market competition). They are the result of a transition from an NHS based on rational, needs-based health planning towards a health service that will increasingly be run by private
companies and guided by a capricious and unforgiving market. Centrally imposed demands to meet government targets prior to the last elections have also aided and abetted the disastrous organisational reforms to the NHS.

The Secretary of State for Health is quick to blame financial deficits on individual hospital trusts and PCTs.
But a proper analysis of the deficits and their widespread nature clearly points to problems inherent in the government’s own reforms.

The crisis in the NHS, reflected only in part by the list of closures, cut-backs and disruptions, appears to be veering out of control, and is in danger of bringing the NHS to a point of collapse. It is not inconceivable that this is the desired aim of government policy – the more avid supporters of marketisation feel that a proper market will only be established when the NHS disappears.