Well, there’s a surprise

Seems that a union opposed to healthcare reforms has commissioned a survey which found that only 1 in 4 people support healthcare reform. Not too surprising really, there’s a lot of disinformation out there about what’s going to happen and I’d like to see the question actually asked as I suspect it will have been along the lines of “do you agree the government should destroy the NHS and make everyone pay for their own healthcare” probably not so blatant, but certainly couched in such a way as to get the answer you wanted, after all, political parties and fake charities do it all the time.


A survey of over 1,600 adults by Unison also found that almost two thirds do not trust the Government to handle the NHS. Less than a third were in favour of GPs having the power to commission health services from private companies – a central plank of the reforms.
Only 12% of 2010 Lib Dem voters supported the bill and just 20% trusted the Government’s handling of the NHS, the research found.
Two thirds of 2010 Lib Dem voters were against private companies being commissioned by GPs to provide services.
Unison urged the Government to listen to patients, health professionals, unions, Royal Colleges, think tanks, and to the public, and to drop its bill.
General secretary Dave Prentis said: “The Government has to drop its Health and Social Care Bill. Unison’s poll shows that the hundreds of amendments, and the so-called listening exercise simply haven’t worked.

I’m fairly cynical about this sort of survey as you might have guessed, the only ones I take a bit of notice of are the ones which come up with surprising results for the people doing the survey, not one which appears to support their prejudices…

“The Government needs to start listening. Voters will never forgive, or forget, the party that ruins our NHS.”

You have to wonder whether or not he means Unison’s NHS or the peoples NHS, I rather suspect the former, as union power seems to spiral back to where it probably belongs in private industry, ie, having no say over how it’s run, merely representing its members in localised disputes and handling wage rise negotiations. Not that I particularly trust the coagulation itself when it comes to reform, I don’t think they have a clue as to how to even tackle an organisation whose workforce is only exceeded by Indian Railways and the Chinese Army on a national scale.

Yet however much the NHS has a place in our hearts, there has to be reform, we don’t necessarily have to have it making a profit, just run in the most efficient way possible where the costs and the waiting times balance out. After all, if France can do it and have an NHS second to none, there’s no reason on earth why we can’t, though I suspect Unison wont like it.

11 comments for “Well, there’s a surprise

  1. Man With a Polish Wife
    February 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Please can someone tell me why GPs are to be entrusted with the billions needed to run the NHS, when a couple of months ago it was announced that the responsbility to issue long term sick notes was going to be taken off them because they couldn’t be trusted (apparently). Confused…

    • February 13, 2012 at 7:15 am

      I’d rather like to know the answer to that one too!

  2. john in cheshire
    February 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I thoroughly dislike the NHS and would welcome its disbandment; perhaps along regional or county lines; with individuals having a health insurance policy. I’ve lived in countries that have such a system and it works; particularly since the customer/patient is king. Measures to cover the very poor and needy can be put in place, so no need for the commies to spread panic about millions dying through neglect. A significant benefit, in my opinion, would be that we could eliminate all the health tourists, and all the nice to haves that the NHS currently provides, such as fertility treatment (if you want a family that badly, then pay for it yourself. If you can’t afford it, then that’s not my problem and therefore I don’t want to pay for it). Finally, the fact that there have been so many amendments, would tend to suggest that the government has been listening. I don’t recall the last socialist government (labour) paying too much attention to peoples objections when they forced through record amounts of legislation over their 13 year reign of terror. And the unions during that period were noticeable by their silence on just about every subject.

  3. Uncle Badger
    February 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Sounds like the next story in the BBC’s ceaseless campaign against the Government’s proposals.

  4. Dave_G
    February 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Like any business, as soon as the Government gets their fingers involved the costs spiral out of control. Name me ONE Government inspired/devised/run project that came in on budget and turns a profit (or at least breaks even).

    • Voice of Reason
      February 13, 2012 at 12:19 am

      Government sponsorship of scientific research, which has led to most of our post-WWII technology.

  5. CJ Nerd
    February 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    @Man With a Polish Wife: because GPs can be intimidated; but people who turn up, do an assessment and go, can’t be intimidated so easily.

    • Dembones
      February 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      @CJNerd: But the assessors may be intimidated by those who pay them.
      Personally, although I have little trust in GPs, I would rather trust a GP with a long-term relationship with the patient over someone who may be filling quotas and targets. Most assessments are overturned on appeal which is expensive and does not instil confidence.
      Perhaps there may be a case for long term sickness and/or disability to be signed off by two GPs as a safeguard such as with death certificates. Obviously no system is foolproof as shown by Shipman.

    • February 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

      Surely any GP intimidated into this should be considered as having betrayed his Hippocratic Oath – yet we never hear of any sanctions taken against the GP of any of the benefit fraudsters caught out do we?

      • Dembones
        February 13, 2012 at 10:21 am

        The whole area of medical assessments is very murky. This site gives you a flavour of the waste and politics: http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html
        It seems to me that only those well enough to navigate the system end up ‘winning’, those too poorly or less educated are left on the scrapheap.

  6. February 13, 2012 at 7:30 am

    What about free “Quit Smoking” from chemists. The only way to give up anything that is enjoyable is will power. I quit smoking three times, once for three years eight months, once for eighteen months and once for twenty-two years and counting. The lapses resulted from its obvious pleasures which should not be under-estimated or ignored.

    Can the NHS really afford such nonsenses, and while I am at it, what about the helicopter ambulance in Derbyshire, reported on Sky News yesterday morning, that rescued a 62 year old woman, fell walking in the snow, who had slipped and hurt her wrist, being transported down the hill by helicopter on the NHS, mind-blowing waste of resources and fuel!

    John in Cheshire has it spot on!

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