I've teasingly had a little play with this at my own pad, but since Sunday's Observer article betrays an astounding lack of collective political antenna on the part of the health establishment, further comment is merited.
A majority of doctors support measures to deny treatment to smokers and the obese, according to a survey that has sparked a row over the NHS's growing use of "lifestyle rationing".We all have differing opinions, of course, but one has to wonder what the blithering fuck a majority of these surveyed doctors could possibly have been thinking if—as we are led to believe—they are faithfully wedded to the NHS and its all-inclusive, free at the point of delivery ethos.
Some 54% of doctors who took part said the NHS should have the right to withhold non-emergency treatment from patients who do not lose weight or stop smoking. Some medics believe unhealthy behaviour can make procedures less likely to work, and that the service is not obliged to devote scarce resources to them.
There has been an unending stream of 'progressive' commentators in the health service telling us how the NHS Reform Bill is "privatisation by stealth". A perfect example, again at the Guardian domain, being this.
Opponents of privatisation of the NHS would, however, be unwise to focus solely on the issue of hospital management, because the slipperiness of the NHS bill is that it stealthily advances the privatisation of healthcare on several fronts. It does this in primary care, in community health services, and in commissioning – all of it concealed behind the publically trusted NHS logo.They might want to cast a glance, instead, at the quite idiotic—and dangerously irresponsible—bigots amongst the 54% mentioned above. Again, represented by the NHS logo.
They worry about privatisation by the back door? How about excluding a not inconsiderable section of the population from routine surgery on the premise that—for currently fashionable reasons—they should be denied benefit from their taxes that doctors have been spending for decades on the fucking golf course?
What is expected of a fat bloke who needs a new hip, or a smoker who is denied IVF? They will, of course, go private if they are remotely of substance. The less well-off won't be able to even consider it. Err, that is what one would term a two-tier health service based on ability to pay, and highly anti-progressive at that. Precisely what all the agonising and protests over the NHS Reform Bill have claimed to want to avoid, yet here we have supposedly educated people calling for an advance towards the kind of system they constantly tell us won't work.
The bandwagon is gaining pace on this hilarious destruction of the NHS from within, without any help required from those of us who are quite aware that the whole edifice is constructed on 1940s straw and no longer fit for purpose.
As such, it's astronomically fucking superb that we can sit back and watch as crashingly stupid doctors—the ones who have been lecturing us from their ivory towers for the past decade, remember, about how irrational and misguided we are in choosing our own lifestyles—throw their weight behind the very cloaked privatisation they supposedly fear.
[Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners] said: "It's the deserving and undeserving sick idea. The NHS should deliver care according to need. There was no medical justification for such restrictions on smokers, as giving up nicotine would not necessarily enhance an operation's chances of success. Clearly, giving up smoking is a good thing. But blackmailing people by telling them that they have to give up isn't what doctors should be doing."Nice try, Clare, but your entire profession has been insulting the public and promoting unjustifiable lobbying against behaviours which you don't particularly like for a long time now. Is it any wonder the daft fucktards who you've been brainwashing now stray off-message and get all radical on yo' ass?
Some in the health profession have even gone on record as advocating those who are unable to pay being allowed to die.
It's the kind of hideous inhuman thinking libertarians are ignorantly accused of, yet I've never met a libertarian or classical liberal in my life who ever agreed that should be a possibility under a private system with government-funded vouchers as a safety net for those not able to pay. Only in the ranks of self-described progressive health professionals will you see death and withdrawal of healthcare being touted as a valid policy.
Long live the debate amongst the health profession, in my opinion. In fact, I hope they push the envelope and grip the public's shit big time by moving from obesity and smoking into alcohol use and dangerous sports as a reason to deny healthcare. It won't then be long until someone asks the valid question as to why they have been faithfully paying the state for the NHS via NI contributions if it isn't the presumption of health care which was promised to them from the first time they received a payslip. Just one successful test case and the NHS will be landed with a bill which will make the PPI losses to banks look like chicken feed.
In the appended comments, one Guardian contributor questions whether the 54% are actually insurance salesmen in disguise. Well, why not? They are making a superb case for privatising the NHS and/or potentially moving us into a situation where the NHS will cease to exist due to a financial inability to cover litigious claims.
Oh yeah, and the next time you see your doctor—according to this survey—rather than respect them, you should consider that there is a more than 50% chance that he/she is a myopic, self-absorbed, righteous bell end.