NHS: related links
:Call for £20 charge to see doctor
Charging would help limit demand, the think-tank says
Patients should be charged £20 to see a GP in a bid to limit demands placed on the health service, a centre-right think-tank says.
The Social Market Foundation
said forcing people to pay a fee for an appointment could help the NHS cope in the tight financial times ahead.
"All patients have a right to free healthcare that is based on their clinical needs, not the size of their bank balance
" - Dr Chaand Nagpaul, of the British Medical Association
"Then there's the gruesomely ambitious Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, whom naive folk thought quite the crusading modern hero when he stuck his European parliament rant against Gordon Brown on YouTube, but who has spent the past week on some madly self-regarding North American tour, and was so desperate to crawl up the colon of Fox News that he obligingly slated the NHS.
"I wouldn't wish it on anybody," he gabbled, pathetically grateful for his close-up."
:US healthcare reform: A diseased debate
'Just when it seemed that the US healthcare debate was in danger of hyperventilating, and a few deep, calming breaths were in order, it has just got more hysterical still. Not content with claims that Barack Obama's wish for reform represents socialism, that state apparatchiks would decide which doctor treats whom, those who oppose reform are now likening the hapless president to Hitler. The rumour that he would create death panels to decide which patients to treat has been building for some time. There is nothing in any of the bills before Congress that would stop treatment for the critically ill on grounds of cost. But when have facts ever got in the way of a campaign rooted in fear?'
:Tory frontbencher Michael Gove on defensive after anti-NHS book link
'A senior member of the Shadow Cabinet today strenuously tried to distance himself from a controversial Conservative MEP who has fiercely attacked the health service.
Despite efforts by David Cameron to close down the row, Michael Gove, the Shadow Schools Secretary, was forced to make plain that he "emphatically disagreed" with Daniel Hannan over the NHS.'
:David Cameron backs NHS with memory of his late son Ivan
'Cameron used his speech to face down the Tory right by saying their demands to cut NHS spending would be a "step backwards". If the Tories win the next election they will increase NHS spending in line with inflation from 2011-14. But Tim Montgomerie, founder of the conservativehome website, wrote: "I'm still unpersuaded that the Tories have done all they can to reduce NHS costs. We should be getting a lot more reform for the extra spending. ... For all the rhetoric about the cupboard being bare and an age of austerity the reluctance of the Tory leadership to make difficult decisions is becoming worrying."'
:The irresponsibility era
From blog "The COnsciense of a Liberal" by Paul Krugman.
'Maybe it's just my imagination, but it seems to me that there was a time when it was fairly common for people who made mistakes to admit that they had done so. But these days ...
Anyway, the Columbia Journalism Review has a good item about what passes for a correction at Investors Business Daily, which first claimed that British health care would have killed Stephen Hawking, the, um, British physicist, then published a correction - well, read it for yourself.
They're dumb, but they're cowards too.'
:David Cameron meets NHS privatisation campaigners
'David Cameron has met a health care pressure group that advocates full privatisation of the National Health Service - a meeting that could infuriate doctors and nurses.
'The Conservative leader held an hour of talks with the leader of the group Nurses For Reform (NFR) in his private office in the Commons two weeks ago.
His decision to meet the radical group, which calls the NHS a "dystopian, Soviet-style calamity", will be seen as foolhardy after the painstaking efforts he has made to reassure voters that the NHS is safe in Tory hands.'
:Revealed: Cameron meets NHS 'advisors' who want to completely undermine it
'David Cameron spent some time in a House of Commons private office with Nurses for Reform earlier this month seeking inspiration to remodel the National Health Service.
We are told he wanted to discuss NFR's ideas on the future of health policy and have them present a range of ideas.
We already know what Daniel Hannan thinks of the '60 year mistake' but what does Cameron think?
:David Cameron's plan to pan the NHS
'Dodgy Dave Cameron's claim to be the saviour of the NHS is fake. He has held secret talks with medics who want to abolish the health service as we know it.
Nurses For Reform spent an hour with the Tory leader pushing their agenda for privatisation and dismantling of pay agreements.
Having branded the NHS a "Soviet-style calamity", this shadowy group wants to end public ownership and management of hospitals, smash national bargaining for nurses and health workers, and allow hospitals to go bust.'
:NHS Privatisation Meeting with David Cameron
'..on the advisory board is Dr Tim Evans, who is President of the Libertarian Alliance. The Director of the Libertarian Alliance is Dr Sean Gabb who only in February 2009 was invited to give a speech to Conservative Future which is the youth wing of the UK conservative party. In that speech he said;
"On the first day of your government, you should close down the BBC. You should take it off air. You should disclaim its copyrights. You should throw all its staff into the street. You should not try to privatise the BBC. This would simply be to transfer the voice of your enemy from the public to the private sector, where it might be more effective in its opposition. You must shut it down - and shut it down at once
. You should do the same with much of the administration. The Foreign Office, much of the Home Office, the Commission for Racial Equality, anything to do with health and safety and planning and child protection - I mean much of the public sector - these should be shut down. If at the end of your first month in power, you have not shut down half of the State, you are failing
. If you have shut down half the State, you have made a step in the right direction, and are ready for still further cuts."
"Following from this, however, I advise you to leave large areas of the welfare state alone. It is regrettable, but most people in this country do like the idea of healthcare free at the point of use, and of free education, and of pensions and unemployment benefit. These must go in the long term. But they must be retained in the short term to maintain electoral support.
Their cost and methods of provision should be examined. But cutting welfare provision would be politically unwise in the early days of our revolution."'
:Reading between the lines
"David Cameron launched his election campaign with new plans to hand large chunks of the NHS over to the private sector. But thanks to a decade of new Labour softening us all up it was barely even noticed.
The Tories started their new year election offensive - well they offended me - by plastering posters with a seven-foot-high Cameron head next to the slogan: "We can't go on like this. I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS."
But his draft manifesto, launched the same day, makes clear that while he might maintain health spending, the money won't go to the NHS.
He is going to cut cash from NHS hospital budgets and give it to private health firms - including some run by businessmen who are funding his poster campaign"
:The Tory NHS: Lies, Libels and Price-fixing
If you were to ask David Cameron to sum up the content of the Conservative Party's draft health manifesto in three words then I dare say he'd reply, 'decentralisation, accountability and transparency'.
Read the manifesto for yourself, and you'll quickly find three much better words to describe it, 'lies, libel and price-fixing'.
:Exclusive: Campaigners advising Cameron compares NHS to "Nazi" system
'Nurses for Reform have been featured on Liberal Conspiracy before. They're a campaigning group with links to the libertarian Adam Smith Institute and ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation think-tanks.
Last month they met with David Cameron to discuss their ideas, which included wholesale privatisation of the NHS, the scrapping of national pay agreements for health workers and nurses being given brands like consumer products.
The idea of competing brands of nurses (None of yer manky Tesco nurses working in our hospital. We only use Sainsburys nurses
) might sound daft, but this weekend Nurses For Reform crossed the line from silly to downright offensive.'
:Nazi nurses and Facebook fiends
Beyond the Bedpan is left reeling by an attack on our "Nazi" NHS - by a woman who advises the Conservative party on health policy.
The beauty of the internet is that anyone can write whatever they want, whenever they want, about any subject they want. The blogosphere in particular has every persuasion, perversion and conspiracy theory you could think of, and millions more that you couldn't.
To demonstrate, let's take two random subjects, say the NHS and Nazis. One is much-lauded, often imperfect system of providing free healthcare for all. The other is a group responsible for some of history's most brutal atrocities. What could they possibly have in common?
Quite a lot, according to our colleagues at Nurses for Reform, a campaign group made of nurses who oppose the NHS. Or, in their own words, "reject bland egalitarianism in favour of competition", and believe that "the state should set free all NHS hospitals and healthcare provision".
Their objections are many and varied, but one really sticks out - the NHS is akin to Nazi policy.
:Doctors warn against NHS commercialisation
'British Medical Association says that the NHS cannot afford to pay the private sector.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that the NHS cannot afford to keep using the private sector.
It said that it was important not to "waste" money on private firms, given the economic climate.
The "Look After our NHS" campaign has been running since last year, but it has been aimed mainly at doctors. The BMA now plans to broaden the campaign out to members of the public, and is asking patients to sign up.
According to figures published by the BMA, hospitals built under private finance initiatives are costing the health service six times their worth.
BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: "As the public purse strings tighten, it is crucial that public money is no longer wasted on expensive commercial experiments."
Critics have questioned the timing of this campaign, as the private sector is now getting less business from the NHS.'
:Private hospitals cash for Conservative health spokesman
Andrew Lansley's spokesman said the donation was fully within the rules
'The Conservative health team is being funded by the wife of the chairman of one of Britain's largest private hospital companies.
Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, received £21,000 in November from Caroline Nash, wife of John Nash, the chairman of Care UK, according to official registers. Mrs Nash works with her husband running a charity to help the underprivileged young. The charity also sponsors an academy school in Pimlico, Central London.
Care UK runs a network of GP practices, NHS walk-in centres, out-of-hours services and NHS treatment centres. The company says that 96 per cent of its business, amounting to more than £400 million last year, came from the NHS.
It would be well placed to benefit from a Conservative promise to make it easier for private providers to perform more NHS work.'
:How the secretary of state for health proposes to abolish the NHS in England
Allyson M Pollock, professor, David Price, senior research fellow
* Accepted 9 March 2011
Allyson Pollock and David Price examine the proposed statutory changes to the NHS and raise concerns that the governmentâ€™s role could be reduced to that of payer
The coalition governmentâ€™s Health and Social Care Bill 2010-11 heralds the most controversial reform in the history of the NHS in England. The government plans to replace the NHS system of public funding and mainly public provision and public administration with a competitive market of corporate providers in which government finances but does not provide healthcare.