Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Relinquishing control

It is rare that I disagree with the good Doctor Crippen, but I fear that such an occasion has arisen. I wrote about about OurPetition.org that the Doc urged; the good Doctor left a comment which runs thusly.
Now now DK, I told you how important it was to take your medication regularly. Don't even miss one day!

OK, let's all pay for our own health care. OK for most younger people, unless you get that nasty lymphoma (think of Ming) or breast cancer... but it gets diffiuclt as you get old.

BUT BUT DK have you not uncharacteristically missed the point?

What Our Petition is trying to do is get MPs to BE HONEST ABOUT THEIR REAL VIEWS. If Tory MPs, indeed the boy David himself, want to renounce the NHS for a private system, that is fine. BUT LET THEM SAY SO. Let them be honest. Let them say "I am with the Devil, and believe in scrapping the NHS"

Our Petition is an attack on HYPOCRISY.

I won't sign it because the NHS is not safe on the front line.

You won't sign it because economically at least you are a facist hyena (isn't that what I called them when I was a student)

WE are both being open an honest. The politicians are not. They say one thing about using the NHS but then as soon as they sneeze, they slink of quietly to Harley Strasse

Roll on the revolution!

Whilst I agree with the last line there, I don't agree that the petition is about exposing hypocrisy: it may do so in the run of the thing, but that is not its purpose. OurPetition.org states its aims quite clearly. [Emphasis mine.]
The most effective way for ordinary citizens to ensure NHS reform will be successful is to make certain that those who are responsible for creating the public health system voluntarily agree to exclusively use [sic] the same system, without opt-out, in their own medical treatment.

OurPetition believes the people of the United Kingdom are entitled to a world-class health system free at the point of deliver [sic]. To achieve this we ask policy-makers to lead by example.

We believe policy-makers need to make a demonstrable commitment from the top by always using the NHS themselves in order to win the support of staff & consultants in an effort to drive through painful but necessary reforms. The battle to reform the NHS cannot be won without first achieving buy-in from the one million people who work for the NHS.

The point of this petition is not to expose hypocrisy; the point of the petition is to shame the "policy-makers" into using the NHS and thus to improve the system by doing so: this aim is stated quite clearly.

If the politicians turn around and, quite truthfully, say they will not use the NHS, what is achieved? Nothing. The politicians will have been absolutely honest—they will not have been hypocritical—but what is the point of that if nothing in the NHS improves? And, as I pointed out in my post, we shouldn't have to blackmail the politicians into providing such a service: they should do it because that is what we, the people, have elected them to do, i.e. those things that we cannot better do ourselves.
OK, let's all pay for our own health care. OK for most younger people, unless you get that nasty lymphoma (think of Ming) or breast cancer... but it gets diffiuclt as you get old.

And this is what the NHS should do (assuming that I believe that it should continue in one form or another): that is, treat those who cannot pay for their own treatment.

Anyway, the whole thing is rather irrelevent: much as I dislike the vast majority of our elected politicians(and, for that matter, the unelected ones too), I don't believe that the majority of them are actively trying to shaft the NHS. They just don't know how to fix it.

What is increasingly obvious is that it is the dominance of top-down, centralised control that is actively fucking up the NHS; this would lead one to conclude that, even if the politicians thought that they could fix it, we should not be looking to central government to do so.

7 comments:

AntiCitizenOne said...

If you can't afford to pay for your treatment, then how come it only becomes affordable when you pay for someone elses treatment?

The Poor doctor is suffering from the "wish money into existence via the term Free disorder" I prescribe a course of economics.

Eddie said...

Dear Anticitizenone,

I think you will find doctors are pretty cute when it comes to economics - so no need for top up courses there.

Private sick note, cash only please, in the draw it goes. "Ash Cash" for the writing of a cremation certificate, American Express, that'll do nicely thankyou. Backhanders and departmental incentives for putting thousands of health tourists through the system. Surgery costing 1/2 million quid, no problem, pick up the referal note on the way from the airport.

Going totally private would end one scam for the medics though. Using NHS diagnostic services and pathology free of charge and billing the private patient. Luvvly Jubbly

Eddie.

Eddie said...

I believe the current "Ash Cash" fee is about £62. Not bad if you're jobbing on a modern pox-ridden geriatric ward, or oncology unit. I wonder if Gordon gets a cut?

Eddie.

Dr John Crippen said...

Hi DK

Oh dear, I fear I have trodden into a lion's den of economists.

"If you can't afford to pay for your treatment, then how come it only becomes affordable when you pay for someone elses treatment? The Poor doctor is suffering from the "wish money into existence via the term Free disorder" I prescribe a course of economics."

AND

Private sick note, cash only please, in the draw it goes. "Ash Cash" for the writing of a cremation certificate, American Express, that'll do nicely thankyou. Backhanders and departmental incentives for putting thousands of health tourists through the system. Surgery costing 1/2 million quid, no problem, pick up the referal note on the way from the airport. Going totally private would end one scam for the medics though. Using NHS diagnostic services and pathology free of charge and billing the private patient. Luvvly Jubbly

++++++

I don't quite understand why an argument out the mission statement (sorry, jargon) of "our petition" should generate an attack on doctors. Of course there are one or two doctors "on the make" but, for what it is worth, most doctors are decent hard working people doing their best in diffiuclt circumstances.

++++++++++++

But back to the rational argments from the DK. And he must have been serious because he forgot to swear until the end!!

Forgive the medication jibe, just my leaden humour. But I DO think Our Petition is about hypocrisy. Richard Solomon may not agree. Like the DK, I would favour bringing real economics, real market forces, real competition in to health care. I wish we could. Touble is, the politicians dare not do it. Any OVERT move in that direction would be electoral suicide. What they are doing covertly is a different matter altogther.

What I hate, hate, hate is the hypocrisy. If the politicians said "the NHS is crap, I'm off to Harley Strasse" that is fine by me. It is their absolute right to do that. If they said they were going to privatise the NHS that is fine by me also. But they do not do either. They pretend the NHS is working well - and you know, and I know that that is a lie - and then, as I said, slink of to Harley Strasse, when no one is looking. They pretend that the NHS is working as well as comprehensive schools - ha ha - and so both are OK for the poor folk. Then you find them in the local BUPA hospital, and their children at Slough Grammer School.

DK I do not think we are too far apart on what we want from health care.

But the politicians...they cannot even be honest about it. I remain convinced that OUR PETITION is a way of making them honest, or exposing their hypocrisy



JOhn

sunscreen said...

To paraphrase...errr...someone, there is no health care so expensive as that which is given away for free.

Eddie said...

Doctor John said:

"I don't quite understand why an argument out the mission statement (sorry, jargon) of "our petition" should generate an attack on doctors."
My point was ...never mind politicians, can medical staff be trusted to make moral and ethical judgements?

"Of course there are one or two doctors "on the make""
Ha Ha ...up the dosage mate

"most doctors are decent hard working people doing their best in diffiuclt circumstances."
Excuse me ...while I get my violin out

Eddie said...

DK said:
“They just don't know how to fix it.”

Quite true …and neither do the professionals. Who’s going to fix education …the teachers? Give me a break. Law and Order …the judiciary and PCs who might suggest that your shop would get that little extra special protection, if material incentives were provided? …I think not.

Dr John seems typical of the many bloggers from the professions, who talk and bitch about “the sytem” …but seem to suffer from chronic migraine …brought about by a halo that is two sizes too small. My comments about corruption within the NHS were quickly brushed aside …by someone called Crippen …which probably says it all.

Apologies to DK: you asked me for input that has not been forthcoming. After much soul searching, I came to the conclusion that any contributions would make no difference …even if they were believed. Take my comment about health tourism, costing this nation mega bucks. This total disgrace, is aided and abetted by the very same people who deny the elderly, the net contributors from the NHS’s beginnings, the respect and care they deserve. How do you think these “tourists” get into the system? They certainly don’t all turn up at casualty, that’s for sure. Who refuses treatment to tax paying smokers? One of the ever increasing band of merry men who sign …for a consideration …bogus prescriptions. I can only guess at the number of foreign health systems we are subsidising, while the dear old NHS patient faces extinction

So, in conclusion, it is my opinion that the “professionals” are as much to blame for this sad state of affairs, as the politicians. It has often been stated that during WW2 the excesses of the Nazi mean machine “could not have happened here”. Well, I can think of a few “caring” individuals who would have made Himmler and Heydrich blush.

Petition??? …pissing in the wind more like

Eddie.