The current Coalition government, since it came to office, has launched various attacks on the NHS, making matters worse. Restructuring, funding cuts, ridiculous fines for not meeting strict targets, job cuts, pay freezes and more have all been levied against the NHS this year.
Hardly surprising from the Conservative part of the Coalition government but a disappointment from its Liberal Democrat counter part. UK people mostly believe that the Tories want to get rid of the NHS and replace it with some sort of private healthcare system. Something like the one in the US. The one that leaves patients untreated until the money is up front or the heath care insurance visible.
The UK people do not want that.
The NHS prides itself that it offers free healthcare to all the country's citizens, from the cradle to the grave. Yes we pay for it by way of national insurance on salaries and taxes but the treatment is then free no matter how often it is used.If you lose your job through illness or whatever you will not have to worry about affording healthcare.
Before the forties it was not like that. Ask relatives over the age of 70 and they will tell a different tale. Before the creation of the NHS healthcare in the UK was the privilege of the upper classes. The working class and poor people were not so lucky. If there was no money to be had then a visit to the doctor was not possible.
Now who would want to return to that way of life?
Well the Tory front benchers of Parliament tend to be millionaires. For them money is no object. So yes they would be quite happy to sacrifice the NHS and the health of the nation. It seems that this is true when you consider the Coalition's latest plans for the NHS.
Currently the NHS is only allowed to raise 2% of its income by way of private patients. The UK government want to increase this to a whopping 49%. When you consider that the government changes have meant that staff and bed numbers in NHS hospitals have been slashed already this is yet more bad news.
The Health and Social Care bill was revised slightly before Christmas in order to allow the increase in private patients. The government's Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said, "lifting the private income cap for foundation hospitals would directly benefit NHS patients. "If these hospitals earn additional income from private work that means there will be more money available to invest in NHS services. "Furthermore services for NHS patients will be safeguarded because foundation hospitals' core legal duty will be to care for them."
Well it may be right now but who is to say it will be in the future? This government will continue to revise and amend UK health care, probably beyond recognition. Increased waiting times will be inevitable, plus of course a two tier NHS.
Labour's Health Secretary Andy Burnham and a more realistic opinion of this amendment and its implications. He said,
"This surprise move, sneaked out just before Christmas, is the clearest sign yet of David Cameron's determination to turn our precious NHS into a US-style commercial system, where hospitals are more interested in profits than people. "With NHS hospitals able to devote half of their beds to private patients, people will begin to see how our hospitals will never be the same again if Cameron's Health Bill gets through Parliament."
Yep that's it in a nutshell.
You don't know what you've got till its gone, so take action now.