- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat (Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
Royal Colleges and the BMA (British Medical Association) restate their opposition to evil Con-Dem coalition government attempts to abolish the NHS. Lying scumbag and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley responds by claiming that they actually support his plans despite their repeatedly stated opposition and by accusing them of acting politically.
Huge increases in waiting times.
BMA rejects changes to pension schemes.
NHS cuts, etc
Relations between the Government and health professionals sank to a new low after Andrew Lansley accused them of opposing his NHS reforms because they were upset about cuts to their pay and pensions.
Union leaders reacted furiously to the Health Secretary’s claim that they wanted “to have a go” at the Government and his suggestion that they were not addressing his NHS shake-up on its merits. Mr Lansley is under fresh pressure after the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) joined the British Medical Association in calling on the Coalition to drop its NHS and Social Care Bill.
Mr Lansley told the BBC the legislation was essential in order to give nurses and doctors clinical leadership. He said: “[The RCN] used to be a professional association that was working with us on professional issues and will carry on doing that, but now the trade union aspect of the Royal College of Nursing has come to the fore, they want to have a go at the Government… about things like pay and pensions.” He added: “It’s a purely political operation.”
Mr Lansley claimed the RCN and RCM supported the principles of the Bill. “What they are actually unhappy about is pay, pensions and jobs. I complete understand that. But if there were no Bill the same issues would have to be addressed. We inherited a deficit, we are having to manage the NHS within limited increases, but actually next year the NHS budget is going to go up by 2.8 per cent.”
Mr Lansley denied suggestions that his decision to allow hospitals to raise 49 per cent of their income from private patients was an issue, as hospitals had no limit at the moment. “You have to see the political nature of this. The RCN does not like private activity,” he said. But Dr Peter Carter, general-secretary of the RCN, rejected Mr Lansley’s claims, saying: “We are disappointed that the Secretary of State would suggest that nurses and healthcare assistants would put self interest before that of patients.”
The number of hospital patients forced to wait more than 18 weeks for NHS treatment has risen by almost half since the Coalition came to power, new figures show.
In May 2010, 20,662 patients referred for treatment in hospital had to wait longer than the recommended time, according to Department of Health data.
But by last November that figure had grown to 29,508 – an increase of 8,846, or 42.8 per cent.
A third of hospital trusts across England (47) are now failing to meet the goal of 90 per cent of their inpatients being seen within 18 weeks of being referred by a GP – almost four times as many as in the middle of 2010.
Healthcare rationing is now everywhere – and don’t think being slim and a non-smoker makes you immune
If you’re overweight or you smoke, you won’t be able to have your hip replaced or your gallbladder removed. Before being put on a waiting list, you’ll have to make efforts to mend your wicked ways. That is what one consortium of GPs in Hertfordshire has decided. And with the government determined to save £60bn from the NHS, it’s unlikely to be the last to agree to this kind of rationing of resources.
Fair enough, you may say. The risks of operations are reduced if you are slim and don’t smoke. Obesity contributes to osteoarthritis of the hip and gallstones, as well as diabetes and high blood pressure. Every smoker in the land must know that they are running an increased risk of lung cancer, and lung and heart disease. Clearly, the risks of anaesthetic complications are higher if you’re a heavy smoker or very fat. And why should slim, non-smoking taxpayers bear the cost of the lumpen puffers?
But this cannot be a defensible position. The Hertfordshire GPs are surely going to have to rethink. Their ruling will potentially affect nearly one quarter of all adults in their area (in 2009 22% of men and 24% of women in England were obese – with a body mass index over 30), and a third of women and nearly half of men if they include overweight people (with a BMI of 25-30). It is completely unrealistic to assume that telling people they can’t go on the waiting list for a much-needed operation until they lose weight will yield any result except despair. Fat is a class issue nowadays. The richer you are, the less likely you are to be fat. Healthy food’s expensive. The factors are complex, and responsibility lies with individuals, schools, health professionals, government and the food and advertising industries – not with a bunch of GPs flexing their commissioning muscle.
Patient safety in Welsh hospitals is being compromised by a drive to save money, says a nursing union.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) says the Welsh government has warned NHS managers to hit financial year-end targets despite a £50m shortfall.
RCN Wales director Tina Donnelly said members in several health boards reported concerns on patient safety.
The Welsh NHS Confederation denied safety was being undermined and said it remained a priority.
Ms Donnelly said nurses had reported having to work shifts with reduced staff numbers, as well as experiencing shortages of basics such as bed linen.
“They really are finding it very, very difficult in the last three months of this financial year,” she said.
“Staffing levels are a lot lower and also their grading is being reduced, which reduces the level of supervision which they are able to have in clinical practice.”
The British Medical Association (BMA) is urging the government to reconsider their pension plans as thousands of doctors may take industrial action.
A meeting of BMA Council, the association’s governing body, resulted in the decision to reject the government’s recent pension propositions – in support of the views of tens of thousands of doctors and medical students.
A national survey of 46,000 found that 84% wanted to reject the latest proposals, while 63% would be willing to take industrial action to pursue changes. Over a third of doctors aged 50 and over said they will retire early if the current changes go ahead.
The government’s current proposals include a rise in members’ contributions, those that currently pay 8.5% will pay 14.5%, an increase in the Normal Pension Age resulting in new doctors having to work until they are 68 and a change in pension accrual methods, to a career average revalued earnings (CARE) scheme for all doctors.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman, BMA Council says: “Doctors are at the forefront of attempts to save the NHS £20 billion, while trying to protect patient care, are in the midst of huge system reform in England, which is causing chaos in many areas, and are about to enter a fourth successive year of a pay freeze.
“Now on top of this, they are facing wholesale changes to their pension scheme, which was radically overhauled less than four years ago and is actually delivering a positive cashflow to the Treasury.
“Industrial action remains a last resort and the Government must urgently reconsider its damaging plans. The action we are considering is unprecedented in recent decades. This demonstrates the current level of discontent among NHS staff.”
27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.
I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.
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