How the Institute of Economic Affairs wanted to abolish the NHS – and how is it going?

Left-wing commentator Grace Blakely has brought to light this gem that the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) think tank wrote in 2012, explaining how its members would tear down the National Health Service.

She writes: “Neoliberals literally told us a decade ago that their plan to destroy the NHS is to make the service so unusable that the wealthy are forced to opt for private care instead, making the institution easier to defund and privatize.”

That is what the article says…

An alternative strategy would seek to bypass the NHS by liberating the private healthcare sector such that the NHS became less and less relevant as more and more people opted out of state provision to avoid long waiting lists and substandard care.

… although how the IEA expected anybody working on 2023’s starvation wages to be able to afford private medical attention is anybody’s guess. They seem to be calling for anybody off the street to be allowed to set themselves up as doctors or nurses, no matter how unqualified for the job:

Anyone should be at liberty to practice as a doctor or nurse, with patients relying on brand names or competing voluntary associations to ensure quality. Ending current restrictive practices is essential to enable private firms to increase productivity in the sector.

Remember the “Free Schools” debacle, when anybody was allowed to set themselves up as a teacher and indoctrinate your children on any lunacy they liked? How well did that end?

With that policy transferred to health, you’ll be asked to rely for your cures on some quack dancing around you, waving his beads and rattles.

Restrictions on the types of treatment available ‘over the counter’ should be lifted to enable patients to obtain medication without recourse to registered doctors and regulated pharmacies.

This means anybody off the street could set themselves up as pharmacists and prescribe you whatever they liked (and probably charge you the Earth for it) instead of what you need, because they wouldn’t have the training to know what that was.

Burdensome drug licensing regulations should be rescinded. Instead, the testing of new drugs should be left to private firms and free markets. Reputable companies would have strong economic incentives to ensure the safety of their products, while there would also be far more freedom for experimentation and innovation by new market entrants.

In other words, you would be exposed to potentially harmful drugs. Couple this with the de-regulation of pharmacies and you have a drug industry that is incentivised to subject you to unproven and potentially harmful chemicals.

I like this one:

Private firms should be free to bring in low-cost medical professionals from abroad and at liberty to determine rates of pay and working conditions through private contract.

So they would bring in cheap foreign workers to stymie the government’s demand that immigration must fall. This would create a tricky conundrum for a government that wants to privatise the NHS!

Legal reforms could enable patients to waive their right to clinical negligence claims.

In other words, private firms would refuse to provide you with their expensive, unsafe treatments unless you signed a form to say you would not sue them if any harm came to you as a result of their lack of training or competence.

The article was written by a gentleman whose expertise lies in transport policy.

This Writer hopes he has found a more useful way to spend his time, considering the failures of the transport links serving the UK at the moment.

Source: How to abolish the NHS — Institute of Economic Affairs

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2 thoughts on “How the Institute of Economic Affairs wanted to abolish the NHS – and how is it going?

  1. Stu

    A recent Guardian article
    These Clinical Trials usually with USA fingerprints all over them will be “on the cheap” suggesting that you are doing it to improve care (Not telling you it’s Private Care not NHS that will benefit).
    My Bi-Annual Medical Review has went from in-person GP to In person Nurse to Telephone/ Web Questionnaire Nurse to an Annual Telephone Review by a Private Pharmacist – this can’t be right.

  2. Grey Swans

    Dear Mike Sivier,
    We already have the daft idea coming of apprentice doctors with no medical training, working in NHS hospitals from day one.

    This idea came from the 1980s when the State Enrolled Nurse, with 2 years minimum nurse medical training, was replaced by the Healthcare Assistant, with no medical training, and are now the majority of nurses in NHS hospitals. They can train up as Nursing Associates now, on the wards.

    University trained nurses now don’t have ward based training in NHS hospitals, whilst at university for years.

    Admin Grey Swans’ project of Corbyn’s manifesto, updated by campaigning petitions and us 1950s pension campaigners (especially WE PAID IN, YOU PAY OUT that collected the history (her-story) of discrimination against women, in state pension / pensioner benefits), holds policies of:

    – Fully resurrecting public NHS, fully funded and staffed.
    – All trainee nurses from day one also working part time as Healthcare Assistants in NHS hospitals.
    – Recruit around 250,000 foreign already trained and experienced doctors, GPs, nurses, midwives and paramedics to end the highest NHS backlog of treatment in NHS history. Free work visas.
    – Free university tuition.
    – Wealth Tax on super rich on homes and office blocks worth over 10m, ring fencing the money for the NHS.

    Might you help me please to encourage the below three Labour ladies to bring our new Over 50s & Young Labouring Ages party into existence (they have my email address as tried to gain the privilege of their help for us all):

    – Diane Abbott (lost the whip)
    – Emma Dent Coad (resigned the Labour party, now Independent councillor, when can be a councillor and a MP at the same time)
    – Margaret Greenwood (not running as Labour MP in next general election).

    To be the 3 tasks needed to get the new party registered to run in general election, and future first Left wing Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, or other front bench Minister, by the only left wing party that can gain the vital Grey Vote, who are last age group who sufficiently turn out to vote for any and all parties.

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