There seeems to be very little NHS news today. The news is instead dominated by the results of yesterday’s local and devolved assemblies elections and the vote on adopting the alternative vote voting system. I can’t say that I’m not pleased that the Liberal-Democrats did very poorly.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
Increased NHS charges and the rising cost of living have forced almost 40pc of people to skip routine visits to the dentist, according to new research.
Higher dental costs have meant that one in five people now pay for this treatment on credit card, potentially incurring interest charges – according to research from insurers Simplyhealth.
But avoiding check ups can prove to be a false economy. The British Dental Association (BDA) said those who cancel appointments and defer treatments often wind up needing emergency treatment which can result in bigger bill – particularly as they may then end up paying for private treatment.
The “free” NHS does not extend to dental charges. In England most adults can expect to pay up to £17 for treatments such as scaling and polishing; £47 for procedures such as fillings or extractions and £204 for crowns, bridges and dentures.
Those who don’t have access to an NHS dentist face even steeper charges, and with latest figures suggesting that one in seven NHS dentist’s lists is now closed to adults – and a further one in 10 refusing children – it is not hard to see why many people have little option but to pay expensive private dental fees.
Health activists accuse privateers of creating ‘PR puff’ over break-up
Campaigners accused private health companies today of creating “PR puff” to downplay plans to break up the NHS.
An alliance of five leading private health firms dubbed H5 accused unions of “scaremongering” over the shake-up of the NHS under the Health and Social Care Bill, which they stand to rake in massive profits from.
H5 chief executive Matt James said: “Unions have whipped up accusations of privatisation but that is not going to happen. I cannot see the amount of NHS work the private sector does increasing by that much.”
But he neglected to mention the full scale of increasing privatisation in the NHS already taking place, with Cambridgeshire’s Hinchingbrooke Hospital being the first NHS hospital set to be run by a private health firm, Circle.
The future of St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust in Liverpool was also questioned after Health Minister Simon Burns failed to confirm whether the hospital rejected a government-proposed option for it to be privately managed.
POORLY children in North East Lincolnshire will suffer the most if a heart surgery unit at Leeds Royal Infirmary is forced to close as part of an NHS review, according to health bosses.
If the unit closes, children will be forced to travel to Newcastle for treatment – putting local youngsters at the biggest disadvantage because of poor transport links.
Council health bosses claim consultants at the hospital have said the distance children are forced to travel for treatment is crucial and lives could be lost of the closure goes ahead.
It comes as staff at the unit revealed that 11 per cent of all the patients they treat come from the DN postcode area – which covers Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Barton, Barrow, Scunthorpe, Gainsborough and Doncaster.
As reported, the unit is being threatened with closure because of controversial NHS reforms, which will see the number of specialist heart units for children cut from 11 to six or seven.
A petition set up to demonstrate support for the Leeds unit currently has 31,000 signatures.
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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