Monday’s newspapers will carry news of ‘desperate measures’ to be implemented by the government that will result in reductions in hospital bed numbers in almost half of NHS authorities and the closure of or downgrading of Accident & Emergency (A&E) facilities in a third:
The ‘desperate measures’ quote is deliberately disingenuous, as is the statement that they are to ‘tackle the greatest financial crisis in the history of the NHS’.
As if this is just something that has happened and that requires hitherto-unthinkable steps to ‘tackle’. That’s what you’re meant to think. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As the SKWAWKBOX reported almost 4 years ago, a secret report dating back over 6 years to August 2010 for the Tory-led government on the health service in Northern Ireland, which was clearly being viewed as a guinea pig for measures to be taken in England and Wales, outlines the following steps to be taken:
- rationing/reducing funding for some services
- bed closures
- workforce reductions
- introducing charging for treatment
All of which have either already begun or are being discussed to prepare the way for their enactment.
That report has mysteriously been removed from the Northern Irish health service’s website, but its existence and key points are attested to in a PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper) document still available online:
A full copy of the PwC report is available at the end of this article. In addition, an online search for McKinsey “Reshaping the System” will bring up many references to the original report and its contents.
McKinsey also created another report for the Tory-led government in 2010. While less explicit, this report – which is also available in full at the end of this article – specifically targets reductions and downgrading of A&E facilities, aiming for reductions in cost (p.113 of the report page-numbering, p115 of the PDF and elsewhere) of 20-40% by moving treatment to more ‘cost-effective’ centres:
This version of McKinsey’s report also recommends resisting pressure by Royal Colleges (of Nurses, Medicine etc) for ‘mandatory staffing ratios’ (minimum safe number of nurses per number of patients, for example) for patient safety – which the Tories have consistently done.
The well-known US author Noam Chomsky describes what he calls the ‘standard technique’ of governments aiming to privatise public services:
That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital
A&E services are among the most expensive to provide and therefore, for private healthcare companies, the least – or not at all – profitable. It’s no coincidence that the manufactured funding crisis in the NHS, which has been created by a government perfectly prepared to lie that it is increasing NHS funding, even when it is rebuked for doing so by the UK Statistics Authority, is leading to a deluge of closures and downgrades of A&E departments:
The government wants you to believe that the crisis in the NHS is something inevitable that just happened. But proof exists that this manufactured crisis has been in preparation since just after the Tories came to power (and probably long before then).
Defund, cause to fail, privatise. Anything but a crisis that just happened and is leading to ‘desperate measures’.
On the contrary – a political, venal, long-planned choice.
As in so many areas, Jeremy Corbyn has always made plain that he intends to reverse the Tories’ NHS cuts and privatisation. Wonder why the press, broadcast media and right-wing politicians are so desperate to paint him as ‘unelectable’…
Awareness is vital to raising resistance to this planned destruction of our greatest national treasure, so please share this evidence.