In addition to removing the universal right to healthcare, which has existed since 1948, the HSC Act also opens the door for charges without limit for NHS services. It permits private providers to take over any NHS services. And it allows up to 49% of the business of NHS hospitals to be private. Quite apart from the fact that the intention is almost certainly to eventually increase this percentage to 100% – ie: create a US-style insurance-based system – this will create a health system with two queues: one for the poor and one for the rich. In a cash-strapped system, a rich person with a minor ailment will be treated over a poor person with a more serious ailment. “Care will never again be according to need but ability to pay,” says Dr Clare Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs.
But the risks highlighted by the Faculty of Public Health are all short term. The NHS is being removed gradually – no government would dare remove it in one go since, at the last election, it had the highest-ever public approval rating. However, the end-game is an insurance-based system like the US where, without health insurance, you will not be able to get treatment for you and your family. The term NHS will be meaningless. “The NHS will be reduced to a logo, a budget and a few qangos,” says public health physician, Dr Alex Scott-Samuel. …
The implementation of the HSC Act is creating huge amounts of duplicated bureaucracy – the principle cause of the high cost of the US healthcare system.
Gradually, the government is starving the NHS of money. This is deliberate. As hospitals run out of money – and the exorbitant repayments on PFI deals are a major factor here – they become prey to takeovers by private companies. This has already happened, with Serco taking over Newmarket Hospital.
The great NHS robbery