[Marxism] British healthcare system is sicko

Jscotlive at aol.com Jscotlive at aol.com
Sat Oct 20 08:58:32 MDT 2007

Louis wrote:

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
explain?  Thanks.

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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