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to think that the NHS should NOT be privatised?

(96 Posts)
LeftWingTwat Tue 26-Feb-13 09:17:59

I am not arguing for no reform, all organisations can end up with waste/corruption etc. etc. However, reform doesn't NOT have to mean privatisation.

It is a myth the private sector is more efficient, what it is is more profitable, but profit has become the measure of success. Profit should not be the measure of success for healthcare. It should have no part of healthcare. When it does we can see the stark results in the US and it is US companies who are circling. US companies who have spent billions, billions of dollars lobbying their own government for the right to make enough off healthcare to not only have enough for themselves but have billions surplus to lobby with. While people die.

Privatisation of healthcare is based on the myth that people's healthcare experience won't change too much, that you will still be able to afford what you have now. This will not happen.

The government promised to protect the NHS. The government, elected without majority, is deliberately taking it apart piece by piece without mandate from the people, this is not democracy. The government is taking it apart without consulting the people. Governments are supposed to be the servants of the people, our representatives, rather than our masters, cutting up and parceling out what we pay for in taxes for their own profits and for the profits of companies beyond our democratic reach. Companies that will not just suck out money from the system but from our country in tax loopholes and tax havens.

This affects us all.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 26-Feb-13 13:06:29

Why are people's anecdotes not helpful? Collectively they are the entire experience people have at the hands of the NHS.

meddie DH has a long term congenital condition. In our experience getting the help he needs (some of which you've listed) has been difficult bordering on diabolical.

meddie Tue 26-Feb-13 13:15:02

I,m sorry to hear that justgiveme I work with kids who suffer life long and terminal conditions and I worry that privatisation will make it even more difficult for them to get the services they need to survive. my concern is that to private health care providers they would be seen as a bad risk and therefore not worth insuring.

LurkingBeagle Tue 26-Feb-13 13:16:28

The care system has been privatised from the supplier end, e.g. council puts services out to tender, private companies bid, council select lowest bidder. Obviously, the resulting care is crap.

The point everyone misses in this debate is that the privatisation should benefit the patient, not the provider, i.e. patient requires care, has insurance (either self-funded or if low income, part funded by the state), selects provider of her choice that must compete for her custom in order to survive. This drives standards up. To put in another way, the state provides funding, but it does not supply healthcare. Consequently, there is no monopoly.

It's frightening how little many people know about other countries' health provision. It's rather parochical to assume that French people on low incomes (France has a private system) get no access to doctors or contraception.I can only assume that lots of people on this thread read Pravda (or whatever passes for commie propoganda these days).

meddie Tue 26-Feb-13 13:16:50

I think ultimately for me. the thought of someone, somewhere making a profit on the back of another human being for having the misfortune to suffer an illness just doesn't sit right with me.

photographerlady Tue 26-Feb-13 13:18:38

I grew up in the States where health care is privatized. You get sick and uninsured than you live with incredible debts or just not get treatment. It's sickening to talk to ppl in the states who are pregnant and can't afford to go in for a checkup when they have bleeding/a problem.

meddie Tue 26-Feb-13 13:20:38

the problem with privitisation in healthcare is the lack of competition to drive up care, except if its for some common procedure that is easily fixed ie boob jobs, varicose vein removal etc, where you have the luxury to shop around.
unfortunately for most people they have no say in when their health care issue pops up and you have no time to shop around or look for the best, you are limited to using your local facilities.

WhoPaintedTheLion Tue 26-Feb-13 13:26:21

I agree fully with Callisto on page one of this discussion.

Although it is frightening that the government are looking to the US of all places. I like the I US but their health system leaves a lot to be desired.

RedToothBrush Tue 26-Feb-13 13:33:32

Instead of going public service = good private service = bad

Why aren't we looking at the best and worst aspects of both?! Why so blinkered? Why do we assume private = USA model?

Sorry, but I do think blanket thoughts like that are necessarily to our benefit.

As long as the fundamental principles of universal, free at point of service are maintained and the interests of patients are not compromised I do think this can be achieved with proper safeguarding in place.

Or are we saying that we should renationalise GP surgeries etc?

Callisto Tue 26-Feb-13 13:34:37

I stated that the NHS is broken.
Cancer survival rates in the UK are woeful.
The treatment of patients, especially the most vulnerable, is beyond appalling and this seems to be endemic throughout the NHS.
The NHS employs foreign workers who can't even speak English.

There are loads more but I don't have time to put them all down atm.

sleepyhead Tue 26-Feb-13 13:44:49

Free at the point of service is the rub, RedToothBrush. Most systems based on insurance, state funded or otherwise, have co-pays which may or may not be reimbursed at a later date - usually dependent on what level of insurance you have, or what your income is.

Most systems based on state funded insurance systems also have a high take up of "top-up" private health insurance (see France as an example) which in effect means 2 tiers of care. Fine if the lower tier is adequate, but people shouldn't kid themselves that it means that everyone gets the lovely room or the latest drug/therapy.

I am not saying the NHS is wonderful, but it would be good to see some debate on the strengths and weaknesses (for eg barriers to seeking healthcare in a timely manner than can arise from needing to pay upfront - see threads passim where Irish mnetters have debated whether they can afford to visit the GP) of other systems and not just NHS=crap, any change must be better.

RedToothBrush Tue 26-Feb-13 13:51:29

You make it sound like we DON'T have two tiers of health care in this country. The truth is, that actually we do. With all this rationing bollocks going on, what effectively is happening, is that people who know and understand alternatives and are prepared to be forceful are more likely to get different (and better care) than people who don't. Unfortunately this means that certain groups - less educated, more vulnerable, less well and with little family support get a raw deal anyway under the NHS.

Not to mention postcode lotteries over access to certain types of care and procedes because NICE is only a figure head for best practice and not enforceable leading to the fact that some people being able to get certain things that someone who lives a mile away is not allowed to have.

There isn't universal care in UK. We believe in this myth that we do, but the reality is very different. Its what we should be aiming for; whether it be through public service or making private services a greater part of the system.

sleepyhead Tue 26-Feb-13 13:57:51

A very small percentage of British people have private health care (I think it's something in the region of 10%).

Over 90% of French people pay for private health insurance on top of state health insurance.

As far as being able to shout/negotiate/research your way to better care in labyrinthine systems go, please do show me the system in the world today where that isn't the case. Insurance companies of any stripe are not known for their transparent practices. Knowing when you can work your way round "computer says no" is a valuable health care tool in many systems.

Postcode lotteries re: differences in available services/treatments depending on where you live are common gripes in other countries. Again, France springs to mind.

But, this is all secondhand knowledge - I'd love people in other countries who live with other systems let us know what's good/bad/irritating/fabulous about their system.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Tue 26-Feb-13 13:59:48

All the failing NHS Trusts are in areas of acute deprivation. That really pisses me off.

LurkingBeagle Tue 26-Feb-13 14:54:28

Sleepyhead - the percentage of Brits with private healthcare is increasing exponentially though. Personally, I don't have a problem with co-payment. I prefer that to the current system, where you basically don't know what the NHS will provide in advance. Nobody would buy insurance on that basis.

I don't get the argument that universal healthcare should be free at the point of delivery when (say) food isn't.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:00:36

I agree with the posters who are saying - have a look at both systems, look at other countries where state care is working well. The NHS is broken. The Staff scandal is shocking - 1200 people in one health trust!

I beleive that more and more people are expecting the NHS to cover things that IMHO should never be covered, gastric bands, IVF up to 42 (which has a fail rate of 90%). Allowing people from other EU countries to visit/live and use the facilities having not paid a single penny in.

I am going to admit I do have private medical insurance, I had one child under the NHS and one privately so can compare the two. People who smugly say they will have their baby in an NHS hospital privately 'in case something goes wrong'. Really, do you think doctors are going to be there waiting for you to have an emergency god forbid.

Last year I had the misfortune to visit A&E. The drunks, the language and the sense of entitlement from some people made me think - thank God I dont come here often

Ploom Tue 26-Feb-13 15:18:44

I'm now in one of those European countries with a better healthcare system after years of working in the NHS.

I've got a foot problem - I've been to my GP who tried to treat it with ultrasound which didnt work. He then gave me a referral to an orthopaedic doctor & its up to me to decide which one I go to. There is a website here where people can rate doctors so I chose one with a good rating - I phoned this morning & I've got an appointment tomorrow morning. Thats the good side of the system - it is free at the point of contact now (previously had to pay 10€ per quarter) but we obviously pay more from dh's salary than we paid in National Insurance in the UK.

The bad side is that doctor tomorrow will do every test under the sun whether its indicated or not because he can then charge the insurance company for it. Patients in Intensive Care are sometimes kept ventilated longer as the hospital can then charge a higher rate. Its so corrupt that corrupt has now become normal. And this all leads to higher costs for health insurance.

Part of the problem in the NHS is the shear bureucracy involved - a foot problem like mine would involve a letter going to a secretary, then to appointments, then to medical records all of which takes time & costs money. Patients are quite capable in organising appointments themselves if they are allowed but god forbid that would happen in the NHS - that would put half the admin staff out of a job.

I think there are good aspects of the NHS that could be combined with the good parts of private health insurance but this requires a massive shift in attitudes that I dont think people are ready for.

maisiejoe123 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:50:23

And looking at all those people kicking off in A&E last year they are likely to have paid little into the system. They dont have to pay for it, others will do that, they then spoil it for others who are trying to queue and having screens up to protect the receptionists from attack - how vile.

I do think we need to go back to basics and not have people assuming that the good old NHS will fund it.

SnoogyWoo Tue 26-Feb-13 17:09:54

Something will happen. The UK government is £1 Trillion in debt and adding to that by about £100 Billion a year to pay for the current services.

Scary stuff.

pumpkinsweetie Tue 26-Feb-13 17:11:38

Yup, scary stuffsad

iliketea Tue 26-Feb-13 18:47:00

ploom in the system you describe (which sounds like a good one btw) - what happens to people who don't have the mental capacity to make a decision / ability to make the appointments etc, if they don't have someone to do it for them. Who makes the decision about where they go etc? And are there professionals who specialise in complex needs (like geriatricians who can visit at home etc). Is there always a choice, or are there some cases where there is only one specialist to see if you are unable to travel long distances? Who provides transport for those unable to get to an appointment themselves?

orangeone Tue 26-Feb-13 20:07:17

I work in the NHS.

I believe in the NHS and I work very hard along with many of my colleagues.

Moreover I am saddened when people make sweeping criticisms of a massive system based on some areas that need careful rethinking and improvement.

I can promise you all that despite the problems of the NHS, the alternative is worse. Maybe not if you are rich but definetly for the average person on the street.

However, I fear that like most things people won't realise what they had until it is gone.

pumpkinsweetie Tue 26-Feb-13 20:30:15

So true the alternative would be very dire for those that cannot afford private care/insurance. I for one believe the NHS was made to benefit us all rich or poor, to change it would be to demonise the poor & working class.

Ploom Wed 27-Feb-13 05:53:18

iliketea - I have no idea what happens to elderly people or people who struggle to organise their own care - I asked dh but he also didnt know. The GP is quite able to do a lot of care so maybe its him/her who organises the care.
Because of the competitive nature of medicine here there is always a choice of doctors to go to - we live very rurally but between 2 small towns & I probably had a choice of 10 orthopaedic doctors to go to.
I'm going to ask round about eldery care - someone must know.

Sirzy Wed 27-Feb-13 07:30:35

Part of the problem is things are so variable and that's what needs looking it. Some areas are doing it fantastically so why aren't others?

DS was in hdu at 8 weeks old, his care was outstanding, he was due to see a consultant for an unrelated issue so instead of rearranging the appointment the consultant came to us at the end of her clinic.

When he was reffered to a pediatric respiritory specialist he came to see us while we were still on the ward to get wheels in motion.

Its that sort of care that should be available everywhere. I'm not convinced that privatisation is the way to go, I do think top down reform is needed though

KeatsiePie Wed 27-Feb-13 07:38:24

US spends 13.9%

Good grief! What the FUCK are we spending it on?! [goes to look up]

I don't know what's involved in reform, but cannot imagine that reform is not a better option than privatization.

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