Health

The NHS Bill: a blueprint for destruction

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The government is in serious trouble over its plans for the National Health Service. Gill George explains exactly how the bill is intended to destroy the NHS as we know it

The government is in serious trouble over its plans for the National Health Service. Gill George explains exactly how the bill is intended to destroy the NHS as we know it

Just before the general election David Cameron promised that there would be "no more top-down reorganisation of the NHS". This was a straight lie. The Tories' attempt to dismantle the NHS has been a long time in the planning.

Unhealthy Bill

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Cameron's supposed retreat on the Health Bill and the resulting incandescent splutterings of Alan Milburn reveal splits within the ruling class and the vulnerability of the Con-Dem Government.

However, we must not be complacent. While the report of the NHS Future Forum has made some helpful recommendations it still falls way short of safeguarding the NHS from further encroachment by the private sector.

Caring for profit

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The economist Joseph Schumpeter had a fine phrase to describe market competition - it's all about "creative destruction". Market enthusiasts love the creative bit. They tend to keep quiet about the destructive side. And this is especially so if the destruction potentially involves the biggest care home provider for the elderly in Britain.

If you have not heard of it then take note - it's called Southern Cross. It runs 600 care homes under its own brand and operates a further 70 as Ashbourne Senior Living and 47 as Active Care Partnerships. Together they have 38,000 beds and 40,000 staff.

Unhealthy profits

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The sickness of the economy has done little to dent the healthy profits of private hospitals.

There was a drop of 30,000 patients with private medical insurance seeking treatment in the private sector between 2007 and 2009, and a fall of 45,000 patients paying directly. Yet private hospitals raked in £3.76 billion in 2009 - an increase of 7.5 percent.

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