The Conservative Government is denying the existence of any serious problem in the English National Health Service, despite the Red Cross having announced a “humanitarian crisis”.
Red Cross chief executive Mike Adamson has made the following appeal to UK prime minister Theresa May.
The British Medical Association has stood by the Red Cross:
Mrs May has told Sky’s Sophy Ridge that her government has put more money into the NHS.Oh, so that’s all right then. A paltry sub-inflation increase of 0.8 per cent per year (a real-terms cut, This Writer seems to recall) means the deaths on hospital trolleys are illusory. I DON’T THINK SO.
In any case, what about all the planned cuts? See:
— Devutopia (@D_Raval) January 7, 2017
She said the NHS had problems due to an aging population, but “that is why the NHS has developed a plan. It is putting it into practice”.
What plan would this be? The same plan as is in practise at the Department for Work and Pensions? The plan to make people die?
She has gone on to talk about mental health, saying the issue cannot be addressed simply by throwing money at it and a strategy to address stigma is more important. Isn’t that true of any health problem? Yet with the NHS as a whole, no strategies have been launched to tackle the causes of the problems that have mounted up to create the humanitarian crisis described by the Red Cross.
I think Theresa May is lying through her teeth. There is a humanitarian crisis. There’s no extra money. And there is no plan apart from letting it run its course and allowing your relatives to die.
Shall we have a quick reminder of the Conservative Party’s recent record of achievement, with regard to the National Health Service in England? Here it is:
Meanwhile, Justine Greening told Andrew Marr it was “inappropriate” for the Red Cross to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis, and said the charity’s involvement was “not particularly unusual”.
This of course completely ignores the obvious: If it isn’t unusual for the Red Cross to be involved, then the Red Cross will have a very good reason to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis. And the Red Cross knows a humanitarian crisis when its members see one.
Dr David Wrigley had this to say about Ms Greening’s performance:
— Dr David Wrigley (@DavidGWrigley) January 8, 2017
That is Tory health policy for you: Defund, say it isn’t working, privatise; Deny what they’re doing; and Divert attention away.
Jeremy Hunt, who is allegedly the Secretary of State for Health, has been nowhere to be found. Apparently he is hiding in Japan.
And the right-wing media? They have nothing to say:
According to Professor Ray Tallis, co-author of NHS: SOS, the book which predicted the Tory health disaster, the number of preventable winter deaths has increased by 50,000 this year. It was a high number already, last year, if This Writer recalls correctly.
Labour has accused the Conservatives of systematically underfunding the NHS – a claim that won’t be easily dismissed. Isn’t it true that funding cuts are the reason for the controversial Sustainability and Transformation plans (STPs) that have been so roundly rejected by Health and Wellbeing Boards across the UK?
And calls are mounting for direct action.
This Writer is particularly fond of the following comment, as it refers to my own work uncovering the number of preventable deaths caused by the Department for Work and Pensions:
— Bien Soeur (@BienSoeur) January 7, 2017
I should point out, though, that the number quoted is likely to be only a fraction of the true figure, as the DWP ignored anybody who died outside a very narrow, two-week time frame.
Opinions are starting to come in from abroad. Here’s an American doctor who experienced NHS treatment, telling the Conservatives to “stop messing it up”.
The Labour Party has spoken up strongly, calling on the Conservative Government to do its job and ensure that NHS doctors and nurses can do theirs.
The response has been predictable: Widespread calls for Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation on grounds of ineffectiveness.
Trouble was, Mr Corbyn was everywhere yesterday – and has a proven track record of supporting the NHS. He visited the picket lines to support striking junior doctors last year, for example. And he delivered the following statement on the current crisis:
The response? Here it is:
Those whinging "where is Corbyn" this morning are suddenly tweeting about the FA Cup this evening now BBC report Corbyn was at NHS frontline
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) January 7, 2017
Apparently, some Corbyn critics were complaining that he had not brought the Tories back to Parliament yesterday (January 7) to account for their actions – until some kind souls explained to them that Parliament is in recess until tomorrow (January 9), and in any case it doesn’t sit on Saturdays.
Other critics who said he hasn’t done anything, and were then told how he has been campaigning strongly, have been characterised as responding that it doesn’t count because “he’s only whinging”. When asked what they think he should do, they tend to go very quiet.
It is good to see both right- and left-wing Labour coming together over this. See Liz Kendall’s comment on Twitter:
Absolutely right. Labour has warned about growing crisis in NHS & social care for months. May & Hunt have no idea, clue or plan. Useless. https://t.co/D0ouCrnulX
— Liz Kendall (@leicesterliz) January 7, 2017
I would point out that some of us have been warning about a crisis in the NHS for years – in the case of This Site, since the Health and Social Care Act 2012 was first discussed in Parliament.
This article could run on forever; the amount of information on this crisis is so great – and ongoing, meaning everything I have written here may be out of date very soon.
At this moment in time, then, it is important to remember three things:
- There is a humanitarian crisis in the English National Health Service.
- It was created deliberately, by the Conservative Government which has starved the NHS of funds in order to give them to private health firms where they have been wasted as profit for shareholders.
- People are dying because Conservatives believe healthcare should only be available to people who are able to pay a fortune for it:
Let's be clear #NHSCrisis was artificially created by Theresa May & her Tories b/c to them good healthcare is for those who can afford it.
— John Smith (son of Harry Leslie Smith) (@Harryslaststand) January 7, 2017
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