Farage said something disturbing about the NHS – Still Laughing at UKIP

From SLATUKIP’s blog: In the first week of April this year and just after his second debate with Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage had an hour-long phone-in session with Telegraph readers.  Around the six-minute mark, Farage brought up the NHS.  What followed was a line uttered by the UKIP leader: not a throwaway, not a wisecrack but a statement of intent – to cut the NHS – so blatant, so shameless we couldn’t believe no-one had picked up on it before today.

You wouldn’t believe it if I just gave you a transcript, so here’s the video, timestamped at 6.40:

For those with no audio, here’s the transcript.

“I genuinely do think, when you sort of occasionally hear of a big businessman that says he’d like to run the National Health Service and streamline it, and get better value for money, I think that’s the approach we’ve got to take.”

Words that are eerily similar to the rhetoric used by the Conservatives about the NHS during the 2010 General Election campaign and the first year of Coalition government. We all know that ‘streamlining’ means cuts, and for a leader of a political party to use such rhetoric, while also flirting with the idea of marrying big business and public service, is quite shocking in its brazenness.

So pray do tell, how are UKIP not the mini-Tory party again?

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  1. joanna may October 8, 2014 at 9:53 am - Reply

    I didn’t hear anything in the time line provided, in fact the question in that time frame was ” whether or not Ukip is a one-man party. I didn’t hear the words “I can’t believe no-one pike up on it”. I am not going to waste a full hour trying to spot it, because to me Ukip is irrelevant!

    • Ulysses October 8, 2014 at 10:57 am - Reply

      He clearly said, at 6 minute forty seconds in, in one paragraph less than a minute long,
      “I genuinely do think, when you sort of occasionally hear of a big businessman that says he’d like to run the National Health Service and streamline it, and get better value for money, I think that’s the approach we’ve got to take.”

      Pretty damning evidence on his stance with the future of the NHS?

  2. casalealex October 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately, Farage appears to be suffering the delusion that the NHS is at the end of the rainbow. The NHS was originally not set up to ‘make money’. It was set up to bring good healthcare to all.

    For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that are free for all at the point of delivery.

    The central principles were clear: the health service would be available to all, and financed entirely from taxation, which means that people pay into it according to their means.  

    Through the 1970s and 1980s, it became clear that the NHS would never get the resources necessary to provide unlimited access to the latest medical treatments, especially in the context of an ageing population. This led to the beginning of a major process of reform, starting about 1980.

    In spite of intensive opposition from the BMA, who wanted a pilot study of the “reforms” in one region, the untried, untested ‘internal market’ was introduced.

    In 1990, the National Health Service & Community Care Act (in England) defined this “internal market”, whereby Health Authorities ceased to run hospitals but “purchased” care from their own or other authorities’ hospitals. Certain GPs became “fund holders” and were able to purchase care for their patients. The “providers” became NHS trusts, which encouraged competition but also increased local differences.

    The Blair Government, whilst leaving services free at point of use, encouraged outsourcing of medical services and support to the private sector. Under the Private Finance Initiative, an increasing number of hospitals were built (or rebuilt) by private sector consortia; hospitals may have both medical services (such as “surgicentres”), and non-medical services (such as catering) provided under long-term contracts by the private sector. A study by a consultancy company which works for the Department of Health showed that every £200 million spent on privately financed hospitals would result in the loss of 1,000 doctors and nurses. The first PFI hospitals contained some 28 per cent fewer beds than the ones they replaced.

    In 2005, surgicentres (ISTCs) treated around 3% of NHS patients (in England) having routine surgery. By 2008 it was expected to be around 10%. NHS Primary Care Trusts have been given the target of sourcing at least 15% of primary care from the private or voluntary sectors over the medium term.

    The NHS also encountered significant problems with the IT innovations accompanying the Blair reforms. The NHS’s National Programme for IT (NPfIT), believed to be the largest IT project in the world, was running significantly behind schedule and above budget, with friction between the Government and the programme contractors.

    Originally budgeted at £2.3 billion, 2009 estimates were £20-30 billion and rising. There was also criticism of a lack of patient information security. The ability to deliver integrated, high quality services required care professionals to use sensitive medical data. In the NPfIT model it was, sometimes, too tightly controlled to allow the best care to be delivered.

    One concern was that GPs and hospital doctors had given the project a lukewarm reception, citing a lack of consultation and complexity. Key “front-end” parts of the programme included Choose and Book, intended to assist patient choice of location for treatment, which missed numerous deadlines for going “live”, substantially over-running its original budget, and is still probably available in only a few locations.

    The programme to computerise all NHS patient records also experienced great difficulties. Furthermore there were unresolved financial and managerial issues on training NHS staff to introduce and maintain these systems once they were operative.

    “At 2.10pm on the afternoon of Tuesday, 27th March 2012, immediately after prayers from the Lord Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, The Health and Social Care Bill repealing the legal foundations of the NHS in England was given royal assent and became law.” – read NHS SOS

    This Coalition government did not have a mandate from the people!

    We did not vote for the abolition of the NHS. Neither was it part of the Coalition agreement. And, unlike those citizens who reside in England, citizens of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to have an NHS – under the law. – read NHS SOS

    Unfortunately, we have been conned, good and proper. They HAVE actually privatised the NHS before our eyes, and it should no longer be called the National Health Service, because it is trading under a false premise. There are many different companies involved in the running of it, and each is in it to make a profit, thereby ensuring that shareholders will gain whilst ‘customers’ lose.

    • Mike Sivier October 8, 2014 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      While that’s a decent enough potted history of the NHS, it’s also an essay, Alex. I wonder how many people will have read it to the end and got the point?

      • casalealex October 8, 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

        Mike, I totally agree, it is an essay, but I felt it had to be said, and of course, as I posted, I thought blimey who’s gonna read this? I hope at least a few may have got the point, that we have lost the NHS as we knew it – forever, and I weep!

  3. wildswimmerpete October 8, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    “while also flirting with the idea of marrying big business and public service”

    A textbook example of fascism.

  4. aussieeh October 9, 2014 at 12:03 am - Reply

    Read to the end Alex, and I weep with you. I think we have all been conned by successive governments since the mid 1970s. I also think that if the people could have stopped all the thieving, lying and corruption that goes on in both houses of the privileged on the Thames, we still would have been a first class nation, with one hell of a National Health Service. Bad government ruins nations not the citizens of those nations and we have one of the worst governments this country has ever had.

    • casalealex October 9, 2014 at 8:26 am - Reply

      Hi Aussieeh, thanx for your response, and I agree with you. I dread the future for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Even though I grew up in a poor family, who struggled, but nothing like so many are suffering now, I don’t remember any apathy in the people around me. Most people were caring and helped each other. Nowadays, many do not even know their neighbours, and that is very sad!

  5. amnesiaclinic October 9, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Also read to the end – spot on Alex! Appalling that we no longer have a NHS and the board is just a commissioning board to put it all out to tender! That is all they exist for. We have been well and truly conned and the worst of it is that as England is no longer covered in regions doctors do not have to accept patients and those with no address, difficult conditions or awkward people – questioning, thinking folks, will slip through the cracks and no longer have a doctor.
    And who will wake up and sort this mess?
    What happened to the good people of Stafford occupying their hospital to stop it from closure amid all the bad media exposure and lies?
    Tents out!!

    • casalealex October 9, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Hi amnesiaclinic, yes you are right about doctors being able to choose their patients, which is another of the despicable parts of the privatising of NHS. If TTIP get their hands on the NHS then there is no way back, because they can take a government to court if they do not abide by the agreement! Scary or what?

  6. Barry Davies October 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Nothing wrong with streamlining the management of the NHS which has become bloated in the run up to the full privatisation that the conlablibdum party members appear to be in favour of. UKIP wants the NHS to remain public be fully public funded and for the minister for health to become accountable and responsible for it once again after it was given away to a number of committees by the privatisation mad conlablibdums. and I am one of the people living in the field by Stafford Hospital to try to keep our services in Stafford, we don’t want honours or money out of it, just to keep our hospital open and working properly.

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