Tag Archives: NHS
This week on Facebook I posted some links on the National Health Service (NHS). By the 1980s if society was divided by notions of a welfare state all strata of society were united in giving the NHS the status of a sacred cow. Yet from the moment of its inception in 1948 by the newly elected post World War II Labour Government, the NHS was unaffordable as a free service. Aneurin Bevan who, as the minister of health, was responsible for establishing an NHS that included free diagnosis and treatment for all, resigned from the government in 1951 as a protest against the introduction of prescription charges for dental care and spectacles. Read more of this post
Monday February 15: My Facebook Page provided a link to a reprise from January 17 2014 The National Insurance Fund. Even the post war Labour government found themselves with an unaffordable National Health Service (NHS) and an even more unaffordable national pension scheme despite their 1946 National Insurance Act and proposed prescription charges through the 1949 NHS Amendment Act. The 1942 Beveridge Social Insurance and Allied Services report has never been implemented as was intended and politicians of all persuasions now plunder National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for political gain. Read more of this post
The National Insurance Fund (pdf) intended to give claimants a sense of dignity and self-respect, in that National Insurance Contributions paid into the National Insurance Fund (Fund) would cover the cost of any benefits received. The National Insurance Contributions (NICs) made into the Fund were not to be means-tested. The intention was to give people an incentive to take extra steps, such as saving, thus providing themselves with more than the minimum benefit entitlement advocated in the Beveridge Social Insurance and Allied Services report (pdf). Read more of this post
Income tax, National Insurance contributions and VAT are easily the largest sources of revenue for the government, together accounting for almost two-thirds of total tax revenue. The following two charts show government expenditure distribution as a percentage and the corresponding expenditure amount in £billion for 2013, with any budget deficit being met by increased borrowing . Read more of this post
Lady Thatcher is dead but not – at least metaphorically – buried, still demonised by the hard left left, still lionized by the hard right, still a source of great political and economic controversy. This generation is confronted by very different problems: the straitjacket of prolonged austerity, the lack of accountability in corporate power, the over-dominance of finance, a grossly unjust system of remuneration and the destruction of the public realm.
Ruralshire General Hospital A&E looks like one of those US Federal prisons we should (but don’t) have in England. More money has been spent on huge secure electronic doors to the treatment areas, swipe card access control systems and high-resolution CCTV than on medical equipment.
Three of us stand in front of 3 inches of armoured glass at A&E in all our gear, radios blasting, while dozens of tired sad-looking prospective patients look on. A bored gum-chewing receptionist is having a protracted telephone conversation. We have to wait for at least four minutes until she exhausts the phone conversation and will deign to look up and meet my gaze. Read more of this post
Next time you visit your GP (if you still have one) pick up a copy of the BMA leaflet warning of the commercialisation of the NHS. On Wednesday, The Guardian published a leading article with the title “Tory adviser’s firm stands to benefit from cuts”. This relates to the fact that Sir Peter Gershon who is acting as an adviser to the Conservatives on ‘efficiency savings’ is also now non-executive Chairman of General Healthcare Group Ltd. This is the same ‘Peter Gershon’ who was appointed to a similar advisory role on joining the Civil Service in April 2000 as the first Chief Executive of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) with a remit to lead a major change programme to reform the way UK Central Civil Government handles over £13 billion p.a. of public procurement.
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