01 June 2009

The BMA wakes up

The BMA has finally woken up to what is happening to our health service. Sadly it is too late. Powerful forces have lined up to nobble the political parties. Market forces and privatisation of NHS services are the future. There is no stopping it. The public do not want this but many out there are convinced that this will make the NHS more responsive and efficient. The ways of the Soviets have been seen to fail. The Soviet Union has been dismantled. Now it's time for the NHS to go the same way.

Dr Grumble is convinced that these changes will not get the taxpayer more bang for his buck. Quite the opposite. Until all the recent meddling, the NHS was widely recognised as the most cost effective healthcare system in the world. It might not have been the best but that was because until very recently the NHS was starved of money. Now that more money has been coming in more money has been wasted on multiple silly initiatives and the introduction of a market. It costs a lot to run a market. It's all money down the drain. Choice and competition may work in the high street. They don't in healthcare. Mechanisms to try and make it work such as Choose and Book have been expensive failures. But in the current climate with Big Business and other powerful forces lined up to argue the case for privatisation it is a challenge to get the message across that we are heading in the wrong direction. Not even the disaster of the banks has brought home to government that Big Business is like MPs - just out to make as much money from the taxpayer as it possibly can.

So now the BMA has woken up, should Dr Grumble rejoin to show some solidarity? Or should he leave them to waste the subs of his colleagues on an initiative that is doomed to failure?


the a&e charge nurse said...

Probably too little too late.

Who will win the forthcoming general election?

And are the likely victors going to be more or less in favour of services being run privately where conditions permit?

Of course, once Cameron takes the helm we can expect further re-branding of the NHS perhaps along the lines of a 'new' or 'improved' NHS - lets face it a £100+ billion budget must sound like a mouth watering prospect for the likes of Richard Branson & Co.

Here is an interesting item on possible future directions - at the very least we can expect significant cuts from the Tories.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Yes I might be right about re-branding according to Maynard's item:
"We are preparing for discussions with Max Clifford Associates to help us market this (NHS) image of safety and economy".

Now, I understand that Mr Clifford is actually a Labour supporter (or used to be) who clashed with John Major's government over the treatment of his own daughter (who suffered with idiopathic juvenile arthritis).

Back then at least Mr Clifford claimed the Tories were mis-managing the NHS.

Even so the Tories still claim they can improve the NHS despite explicit proposals to cut back services. I wouldn't expect anything less, after all this is traditionally what the Tories do best and perhaps why Mr Clifford accused them of mismanagement in the first place?

Dr Grumble said...

Thanks a&e charge nurse. Very interesting but not altogether surpising. There's trouble ahead.

Anonymous said...

Recent history would suggest that, despite the protestations made in opposition, once in government political parties tend to continue and expand upon the policies of the previous incumbents.

I have little hope that a Conservative government would reverse any of the privatisation, internal market and "local" decision making that NuLabour have put in place, I suspect that they could not believe how far Blair and Brown were prepared to go down that road; further than they had dared to go while in power!

If you doubt this theory, take a look at some of NuLabour's Parliamentary debate speeches while in opposition. Literally 180 degree turns were made within months of entering Downing Street.

Anonymous said...

Hamish Meldrum is not very convincing now that his hands were caught in the till like our 'honourable' MPs. This is just a road show.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Indeed, anonymous (9:19) - perhaps we can even look forward to an unholy alliance between Patricia 'Cinven' Hewitt and Andrew Lansley?

Providing Lansley is not too busy extending GP boundaries to the outer Hebrides, of course

Dr Grumble said...

I suspect that they could not believe how far Blair and Brown were prepared to go down that road; further than they had dared to go while in power!
It was probably easier for a Labour government to do this than it would have been for a Tory government.

Cockroach Catcher said...

"Choice and competition may work in the high street. They don't in healthcare."

That is a very generous statement as we now know that choice and competition has not really worked for the BANKS. If fact for untility it is just a nightmare as one year we switch from British Gas to N Power and now from N Power back to British Gas.

All the money has gone to MANAGERS and contract staff: the government departments are the only ones paying well over 900 pounds a day for such staff and many worked in the NHS.

The Cockroach Catcher

Dr Grumble said...

It's a good point Coockroach Catcher. Even Dr Grumble has been conditioned into thinking that choice works more often than it probably does.

The secret doctor's diary said...

In 2007, the fiasco with junior doctor recruitment broke out. The BMA dragged their feet & were slow to act.

It was Remedy UK a newly formed organisation that organised a nationwide protest march followed by a challenge in the courts of the new recruitment system. The BMA sided with government.

For this treachery, I resigned from the BMA with an angry letter & have encouraged every doctor to do so ever since.

Dr Grumble said...

Dr Grumble went on the march and also resigned from the BMA.

Ben said...

Choice is the topic of an open evening seminar we are holding at the RSA next week (29th June) with Andrew Lansley. If anyone is interested in coming, please see here: