Conservatives want to stop you seeing your doctor

doctorlimit

We always knew that the Tories don’t give a damn about the fundamental principles of our National Health Service – for example, the one that says access to healthcare should be based on clinical need.

The papers today are reporting on a Conservative Party document which proposes a cap on the number of GP consultations you will be allowed to have every year.

The attitude seems to be that allowing people to see their doctor as many times as are needed is a luxury that the UK cannot afford. From this, we can conclude that money is more important than health to them.

This is contradictory, though – didn’t the Conservatives push through an unnecessary top-down reorganisation of the health service in England at a cost of £3 billion? And aren’t they busily opening up opportunities for their chums in private health companies to make a profit out of the NHS, meaning billions more will be siphoned off into their bank accounts as profit, rather than being used to benefit patients?

The paper asks readers to respond with their opinions on what a GP’s “core” or “essential” services should be, and asks if they should be better-defined so that patients know what they can expect. Significantly, it provides ‘case studies’ from Switzerland and the Netherlands, concentrating on health insurance schemes in use within those countries.

This is the direction of travel, then: We can see that the Tories definitely intend to push us all into buying health insurance schemes, rather than enjoying the current service which is free at the point of use.

Now join the dots:

Health insurance means we would only get what we pay for. If this consultation provides the blueprint, then the rest of the country would get a basic package that is defined by only a few Tory adherents and optimised to make the most profit for the companies running the schemes.

There is already an insurance company working with the UK government – Unum, the company with a criminal record in its home country, the USA, for selling schemes designed to make it close to impossible for anyone to receive a payout.

Do any of you seriously believe, if these plans go through, that you would receive any healthcare worth having?

I don’t.

I read about this on the day I also read about double-heart and lung transplant patient Linda Wootton, who died just nine days after being told her entitlement for Employment and Support Allowance had been stopped because she was fit for work (she was, in fact, dying on a hospital bed at the time).

My first impression was, therefore, that this was an attempt by the Conservatives to stop people from compiling the medical evidence needed to contest ESA entitlement decisions.

But then I remembered: The work capability assessment is not a medical test and does not rely on medical evidence from anyone who is qualified to have an opinion about it. So it can’t be that.

Right?

If this gets passed into law, you should expect your health, and that of everyone you know, to worsen exponentially as time goes by. It’s as the U2 lyric from the 1980s put it: “The rich stay healthy while the sick stay poor”. There will be many, many deaths due to preventable causes.

The New World Order conspiracy theorists are probably salivating at the thought of this – they’ll believe it proves what they’ve been saying all along, that there is a cadre of ‘elite’ manipulators who intend to thin out the world population and this is part of that agenda.

There is only one thing to do: Protest. The ‘discussion brief’ entitled ‘Local Health’ was buried on the Conservative Policy Forum website when the papers reported on it, but now it has magically found its way to the top of the homepage. So why not visit www.conservativepolicyforum.com, read the document for yourself and make your opinions known in no uncertain terms:

Hands off our NHS!

Ask yourself how many of the people who wrote the paper actually use the NHS. If they don’t play the game, why are they so determined to make up the rules?

32 thoughts on “Conservatives want to stop you seeing your doctor

  1. Pingback: Cap on number of GP visits being considered by Tories

  2. Petra Howard

    I used to live in The Netherlands, born and bred… (I moved here in 2008, started working within a couple of months of arriving, married my British husband in 2009…)
    Trust me when I say it is not a health system you want to go to… Only basic care is ‘free of charge’ or it was when I left the country. Emergency care is still free of charge (as far as I know) but anything not deemed emergency needs paying… You might be able to claim (some of) the costs back but only if you are able to pay a monthly fee. All costs up to nearly £300 is for yourself… In other words, you can only claim after you have already paid this money (plus the monthly fee).

    For male/female (age 36, single, no children) the cheapest monthly fee is £89 (£1,068 pa)
    This gives you:
    * no physiotherapy
    * 75% compensation of dentist bill (after you have paid £127 yourself) (18+ year)
    * max 5 appointments with a psychologist (£17 pa contribution)
    * no alternative medicine
    * no glasses or contacts
    * emergency services world wide, up to Dutch tariff
    * no maternity services or delivery
    * no orthodontics (<18)

    This is what they want here, ain't it just luvverly…

  3. The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company

    The population of this country has been completely neutered. In ages past the current inequities would have resulted in a nice, juicy, heartfelt and necessary revolution. A government’s only excuse for existing is to keep the lights on and the streets safe from footpads and clean – not to suck the lifeblood from the population as it has been doing for decades. I didn’t sign up for government like this and they do not rule by consent. Aside from that I have no strong feelings on the matter.

    😉

    1. sibrydionmawr

      Suggest you go back to school and revise your primary school history – the only revolution that happened in Britain was when the country was briefly a republic under Cromwell – very much what we’d view as a middle-class revolution, and one, to boot, didn’t actually do much for the common people, ask Gerard Winstanley about that, or any of the contemporary egalitarian groups of the period. They were supressed, and the interests of property were never threatend.

      All governments ultimately rule by consent, true, that is often by default, (i.e. nobody opposing it) but none-the-less, that is consent. Even the nasty government of the German Democratic Republic, (which our present governement is seriously in danger of exceeding in terms of nastiness – at least the GDR government ensured no-one starved, and no-one was homeless, or went without healthcare) ruled by consent, until the people democratically took to the streets and got rid of, not just the government, but the whole damned regime.

      Britain has been near to revolution more recently than the 17th Century however, as in 1839 the Chartists staged an uprising in South Wales, that, had it been successful, would have signalled a general uprising in the rest of Britain. However, revolutionary though some of the Chartists genuinely were, they were still mostly, if not completely, statists, and that is basiclally the problem, too many wannabe revolutionaries are damend statists. If you support even the idea of the state you are condeming your society to have to go through the same old crap time and time again every few generations. Let’s remember that both France and the USA went through bourgeois revolutions, (left-wing revolutionaries may despise the bourgeoisie, but, somewhat paradoxically, most revolutonaries come from the bourgoisie) that paid lip service to the notions of the Rights of Man and Liberte, Fraternite et Egalite, but look at those societies now.

      Britain does riots pretty well, but not revolutions.

      1. The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company

        sibrydionmawr Sir/Madam, you’ve summed up history (as written, by the “winners”, obviously) nicely enough, I suppose, for a quick and dirty stab (at both me and the history). Thank you. No; really!

        Would you now turn around to face in the other direction then, and share with me some idea you have for the future, some speculation, some practical consideration for today’s problem? You’ve talked at me about what won’t work, you must surely have some valuable insight into what will, or what might work. Please don’t remain shy – I’d be very genuinely interested.

      2. sibrydionmawr

        @TDEEC – no, I have not taken the ‘winners’ side in my interpretation of history, but rather a ‘grass roots’ interpretation that doesn’t fit the rose-tinted revisionist ‘history’ as is often presented by marxist and left-leaning political groups, (I hasten to add that most of my historical knowledge has been gleaned from reading left-wing and marxist historians).

        I was just pointing out that revolutions don’t work, not one of them has been successful in delivering what it set out to remove, and merely replaced the pre-exisitng power structures.

        I don’t have solutions, (it’s for discussion and democratic decision) but I could suggest that we look to history to find out how people managed before the state took over so many of the functions that we need that are now beimg taken away from us.

        For example the health insurance scheme that existed in New Tredegar that was the model for the NHS, The myriad terminating housing societies that were created and run by industrial workers to provide themselves with housing and all sorts of self-help organisations that existed prior to the state taking over these roles. Obviously re-creating society based on the mutualist model would take time, but do we have any alternative? Making changes to allow a mutualist society to come about would perhaps require a revolution, as much a revolution in terms of what people believe is possible as much as one that does away with the state.

        My response to you wasn’t so much to have a “quick and dirty stab” at you, or indeed history, (which is largely a matter of interpretation anyway) but more to point out that we haven’t really had a revolution in Britain, and in those places that have had revolutions they stopped short of getting rid of the government and so ended facing the same sort situations that caused the revolutions in the first place.

        We can learn a lot from a study of left-wing history and what happened, or didn’t happen, re-evaluate ideas first exprerssed in the past. I don’t have an exhaustive list of suggestions, but you could do worse than look at syndicalism both as a theory and how it was practised in Spanish Civil War period Catalonia, or the influences of syndicalist ideas on the South Wales Miner’s Federation. Co-operativism also has a lot to offer, and I could suggest that reading this .pdf document will give you an idea of the scope that coperativist ideas embraced

        http://www.walescooperative.org/index.php?cID=632&cType=document

  4. Jayne

    Judging from a Radio 4 programmre due to be aired at 8.30pm on May 27, the Labour Party appear to be continuing their abandonment of the NHS, amongst other things, too.

  5. Thomas M

    This government is one of the nastiest since 1945, but what to do about it? Protesting without the vast numbers needed will either be ignored or get one arrested. Starting a left wing political party will mean because of the voting system that it gets no seats, and besides the protest vote seems to have gone to the far right UKIP anyway. And if Labour are Tories, then who to vote for without wasting one’s vote?

    1. sibrydionmawr

      Voting is a waste anyway – you go to vote and you still get government! And the existence of government is fundamentally the problem. We could do a better job ourselves. Cameron’s Big Society in essence isn’t such a bad idea, but it needs to be real rather than the cynical ploy that it is to channel vast sums of public money into the pockets of his friends the huge multinational corportations.

      Protesting is probably goign to be our only choice, perhaps an idea would be to refresh our memories of a time not so very long ago when people staged candlelight vigils outside churches that eventually toppled not just a government, but a whole regime. These things take time, and organisation, but I’m pretty sure that peaceful vigils of this kind, starting in various locations around the country could quite easily snowball.

      Such vigils could genuinely be dedicated to the victims of this present regime, (and it is a regime, a collusion, if not a coaltion of all political parties that don’t take up an extreme opposition stance against the regime. Accoridng to some claims, (and I don’t doubt them) some 73 people a week are dying prematurely as a direct result of this regime and it’s policies, and yet thousands more are suffering at their hands, like that unfortunate young man in London.

      And it needs to be public, there is a lot of online activity in oppsition to the regime, but very little out there in public, which is where it needs to be. IT is great for discussion, and for spreading the word, but it is no substitute for non violent direct action, as it is an opportunity to engage with our fellow citizens who may base their world view, not on the realities, but upon what they read in the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Express, or even, for goodness sake that limp liberal-left publication, The Guardian.

      We certainly need change, but the ‘democracy’ we supposedly enjoy is a complete sham. It’s impossible to have democracy in a society as unequal as is ours. Democracy can only exist where there is complete equality and it needs to be both direct and participatory, not representative.

  6. Daria Magor-Edwards

    This is utterly shocking, reprehensible and inhumane.

    We have pre-paid for health services through our National Insurance Contributions for the time we may need to get medical treatment.

    This ‘free at the point of delivery’ gives the impression that no one pays for health services which is a LIE.

    We PRE-PAY.

    Our premiums come out of our wages via the National Insurance Contribution payment scheme.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Thanks for making that point, Daria. By coincidence, someone on the Facebook page made a comment about how terrible it was that the number of times we see our FREE doctor might be restricted, and I had to remind him that it isn’t.

    2. The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company

      Absolutely so Daria! The government doesn’t “give” anything, it has no money of its own, none whatsoever. Every penny they spend is spent by lifting it out of our pockets. Sadly they mostly lift it out of ours and put it in their own these days via corporate arrnagements and corporate “friends”. When was the last time you heard of a serving senior politician who lived on a street that you could afford to even park your Cortina on? Not that it makes my blood boil or anything!

      Governments have no money! Only the taxpayers… The NHS has NEVER been free, just properly distributed.

      1. sibrydionmawr

        Taxation=theft. Well that’s the anarchist take on it. Voluntary contributions are an entirely different matter.

  7. Bones

    It is time we decided that this government is a criminal enterprise with no mandate for the extremist policies that are being put in place. General protest against ALL policy is needed not just specific protests on single issues.

    1. sibrydionmawr

      Hear, hear. All the single issues need to become part of one general protest movement. I’d be keen to keep it as non (party) political as possible, so there would be a need to dissuade the parasitic Trot paper selling propaganda merchants, (though not necessarily Trots themselves, they would add numbers!).

      Would the suggestion I made in response to a comment a few post back to hold a candle-light vigil be a start in the right direction. It may start as a ‘single’ issue thing, to get things going, but then it could expand to encompass a much wider remit, as ultimately, it is all connected.

  8. Elizabeth Bentley, School Librarians' Network

    I confess that I should like to see the reference for where this “proposal” is written. I have read the Local health policy discussion paper from the Conservative website, and nowhere can I find a reference to restricting the number of times people can see their GPs. They talk of alternative ways of seeing your GP, such as Skype, but not of actual restriction.

  9. gerald giddings

    What as been said by many is true. It is not a free NHS, we have all paid in advance for health care and pensions and any changes to the detriment of the hard working public that paid in, means the government is STEALING our money. They have already raided the pension pot and its time people woke up to stop this criminal act continuing. As ive said many times, The public have done their bit, sucsessive governments have made a complete cockup of doing theirs. I think its time a public enquiry was demanded to see how many politicians and their families and friends have their snouts in the trough of private health organisations. Lets not be naive, thinking corruption only happens in places like Italy and Nigeria.

  10. James

    As a Student paramedic, i would like to see doctors and ambulance services charging for time wasting. if you don’t attend your appointment then, legitimatley you should be charged for making an appointmnet and failing to keep it. so if visits were limited to 3 per year, people wouldnt mess around with appointments.

    1. Mike Sivier

      These are two separate things. The political choice to stop people attending more than a certain number of appointments would mean people who genuinely needed more regular advice and treatment would not get it – in other words, the NHS would not be doing its job. It is politically-motivated and has nothing to do with the number of missed appointments and everything to do with the privatisation agenda and the intention to move to a system based on bought health insurance schemes.
      There is a problem with missed appointments but you cannot be certain that all those absences are down to time-wasting, can you? How many of those people had legitimate reasons for failing to attend? I don’t know and you can’t either. I do think some kind of penalty should be imposed, for example, if someone didn’t attend and didn’t give a reason. Maybe a ‘three strikes’ system similar to the American method discussed on this blog a couple of days ago – three failures to attend and you find yourself a new doctor’s surgery to attend. Here in Mid Wales, where the nearest alternative surgery might be a dozen miles away, that threat would carry weight.
      But a blanket limit would be inhumane. Don’t doctors take the Hippocratic oath these days – “for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice”? If so, to enforce such a limit would be to break the oath.

      1. woman4theinnocentman

        Spot on Mike when you say:
        “It is politically-motivated and has nothing to do with the number of missed appointments and everything to do with the privatisation agenda and the intention to move to a system based on bought health insurance schemes…………………”

        And therein lies the rub.
        We already have a bought health insurance scheme…
        It is called the National Insurance Contribution Scheme.
        Which is conveniently swept under the carpet by those with an agenda to achieve.

  11. sibrydionmawr

    Mike argues a good case, but unfortunately remains silent when it comes to apportioning sufficient blame on his beloved Labour Party – sure he’s critical of them too, in a mild manner, but he tends to pull his punches like much of the Grauniad reading, sandal wearing liberal leftie middle classes (though he may deny he is of that ilk, his concerns and articulation certainly mark him as that – I have no particular problem with his social class, just his economy with the truth). For the present Tory Health Service reforms could only progress as they are based on the reforms that Labour started and carried through.

    I suggest that anyone intersested in this subject head over to YouTube and search for videos by Dr Lucy Reynolds, who certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to apportioning blame on the Labour Party for their totally shameless acts in aid of the privatisation of our Health Service – they are colluding in it, and have been instrumental players since the ideas of privatising the Health Service began. Look out especially for the video that is about an hour and a quarter in length, as this contains a huge amount of information that is well referenced, and comes from someone who is an academic studying the field of healthcare. Be warned however, it is extremely scary stuff that should shock you out of your slumbers.

    The National Helath Service that belongs to us will need to be defended by ourselves if we want it to continue – we cannot trust any politicians, whatever their political colour, (though these days it amounts to shades of blue for all of them). We could do ourselves a huge favour and perhaps re-invent the wheel and go back the system that inspired the NHS in the first place, the health insurance scheme at New Tredegar, which paradoxically had to scale itself down once the NHS was established in 1948, as it was perhaps to ‘syndicalist’ for Bevan, an avowed statist.

    Perhaps it’s time to consider getting rid of the state and all the ‘useless eaters’, politicians, the monarchy and the filthy rich?

    1. Mike Sivier

      What do you call ‘sufficient’ blame?
      I have my issues with Labour and raise them as appropriate, but the important thing at the moment is to address the problems created by the psychotic government we have at the moment.

      1. sibrydionmawr

        I appreciate that Mike, but isn’t the present Labour leadership effectively part of the psychotic government, supported by Labour Back Bench MPs?

    2. J.G.Morris

      “Aus der Krankheit eine Waffe machen”.These words were the slogan of the Sozialistisches Patientenkollektiv.Anyona remember what Brigitte Mohnhaupt did when thet arseted Dr Hubber and Dr Schaefer and closed the S.P.K. down,the N.H.S. dosn’t just benefit the poor,by keeping mad bastard scumbag lefties like me medicated to the eyeballs it protects God fearing,Torry voteing,kulaks from aforementioned mad bastard scumbag lefties,sadly,partly because Britan’s an island,and partly because the Cold War’s over its not as easy for me to get my hands on an AK47 or a Heckler and Koch MP5 as it was for my heros in the Rote Armee Fraktion.

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