Mission Jeremy Hunt seems to be to alienate NHS staff, starting with junior doctors. Last week he announced that he would be imposing the much debated new contracts, the issue that had caused 98% of junior doctors to vote for strike action. But what exactly is going on in the head of possibly the most hated man in the country at present?
Nobody really seems to be sure what a 7-day NHS is. Mr Hunt seems to be focussing on emergency care, whilst others seem to allude to routine operations being carried out at the weekend also. He has accused the BMA of misleading junior doctors, when in fact it is he that has been misleading the public by manipulating statistics and scaring them off going to hospital at weekends – which is likely to lead to more weekend death (which he claims he wants to prevent).
Dave Curtis explains and debunks Hunt’s lies here for anybody who wants to do further reading – and here is a tweet shows just how notorious a liar he has been in the past.
It’s hard not to be cynical of NHS plans when the Conservatives are in power, especially when the Health Secretary, Mr Hunt, co-authored a book calling for the ‘denationalisation’ of the NHS, and for it to be replaced by a private insurance system, like they have in the United States. Could the dispute with the junior doctors be a mere chess move in a bigger plan by Hunt and the Conservatives?
The NHS is rightly a national treasure, and has the overwhelming support of the country. The Tories know voters would turn on them quickly if they launched a full out assault on the NHS – so perhaps they are chipping away piece by piece instead? The Conservatives claim to be behind the NHS in public, but in private do they really want it to fail?
Consider the following: the government may well be priming the NHS to fail, so that the private sector can step in and “save the day”.
Proof you say? Here are the things that give such an impression –
- The government claims that the NHS is unaffordable, this is the basis of their “strategy” for reform – but we spend considerably less than the EU average on our health service, and the lowest in the G7.
- The Government consistently claims the health budget is protected. In reality, the NHS has been forced to make cuts of up to £15-20 billion and these are being extended further as we speak. Many NHS Trust’s also find themselves currently in a position debt, which is only expected to rise.
- The Health & Social Care Act removed the government’s responsibility for the NHS, meaning that near-complete privatisation is allowed – and actively encouraged by this government.
- An £80 million contract to run cancer scans has been given to a private health firm, despite the fact The NHS Trust that runs Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire offered to carry out the work for £7 million less – does this indicate the Tories would rather private firms ran services?
- Imposing these new contracts on junior doctors may mean current staff reign, and recruitment of new doctors will decline – and the Tories may start drawing up new contracts for other members of staff too.
- Private companies have taken 500% more contracts in the past year
A number on Conservative MP’s have links to private medical companies, and may stand to gain financially with increased on complete privatisation of the NHS – and this should make us very wary.
82% of GPs are planning to leave or cut their hours in the next five years. Junior Doctors may resign to move career field of work abroad after Hunt’s contracts are imposed. Bursaries for trainee nurses have been scrapped, so fewer nurses will be trained in a field already in desperate need of more staff.
This may be the NHS being squeezed one too many times. It’s not that government can’t pay for the NHS, but that they don’t want to. Nobody gave the government permission to break up the NHS and sell it off to their mates. We all grew up with the NHS, most of us were born in it, and only we can save it, and we must act quickly.