[Marxism] British healthcare system is sicko
Jscotlive at aol.com
Jscotlive at aol.com
Sat Oct 20 08:58:32 MDT 2007
British healthcare in crisis despite massive investment
A report from the Healthcare Commission says that patients at many
health facilities face long waits and uneven quality.
By Mark Rice-Oxley | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
To which Jkay responded:
It's not clear to me what the roots of this crisis in the British
health care system are. Is there anyone on this list who can briefly
The cause of this crisis is very clear - the UK government, first under
Blair and now under Gordon Brown, are set on privatising the NHS piece by piece.
In fact, the ongoing process of the privatisation of the British NHS began
under Thatcher. She first instituted market mechanisms into the NHS with the
contracting out of ancillary services such as cleaning and catering. This is a
process that has intensified under New Labour, with the introduction of PFI
(Private Finance Intitiatives) and PPP (Public, Private Partnerships). Money
has been invested into the NHS, but with the aim of attracting private
investment. More emphasis is now placed on administration and management with the
task of meeting targets and managing budgets, which are stringently adhered to.
I have personal experience of this. Earlier this year my father was taken
into hospital with pneumonia. He was fine apart from that, was able to walk to
the car and be driven in. Two months later he died - not from the pneumonia
responsible for his being admitted, that was cleared up in a week with
antibiotics. The cause of his death was multiple organ failure as a result of the
multiple infections he caught whilst in hospital. The present crisis afflicting
the British healthcare system is manifested in the scandal of so called
superbugs like MRSA, which have spread like widlfire throughout hospitals the
length and breadth of Britain and killed hundreds. These viruses have their roots
in lessening standards of hygiene within British hospitals, which is a
direct consequence of the privatisation of ancillary services such as cleaning.
New Labour, even more than the Tories before them, is ideologically committed
to a US style health service, funded by private insurance companies. New
hospital buildings are owned by banks, people now have to pay for parking,
patients have to pay for access to television, and so on. They are slowly but surely
turning what used to be a right in the UK to a privilege, a privilege of
Michael Moore's depiction of the British NHS was off by about 25 years. At
one time it was the envy of the civilised world. Not any more.
And not just the NHS. In recent weeks Royal Mail staff have been taking
strike action in order to defend their pay, conditions and pensions. There has
also been strike action in recent months by other public sector staff. A class
war is raging in the UK, with the aim of destroying the public sector and any
last vestige of the welfare state. The only problem is that one side in this
war, the working class, has still to wake up to the fact that there is a war.
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