From Gabriel Carlyle, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, UK
To: New Scientist, 2 Feb 2019
Some health campaigners may have welcomed the launch of the UK government’s 10-year plan for the National Health Service (NHS) in England. But, for example, Youssef El-Gingihy, a doctor in east London and author of “How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps”, notes that the form of the so-called “integrated care” being pushed by NHS England boss Simon Stevens – formerly of US private health insurance company UnitedHealth Group – is a US model of healthcare designed to consolidate privatisation of the NHS, not reverse it.
For 70 years, the NHS has provided a cost-effective universal health service, largely free at the point of need to all, irrespective of background, circumstance or ability to pay. Its dismantling will only be stopped by abolishing its division in England into “purchaser” and “provider” bodies, ending the rules that force purchasers to buy services through competitive tender and re-establishing public bodies accountable to local communities, as advocated by the Campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill.
My comment: it has been an objective of right-wing Tories to dismantle the NHS and replicate the American health system, which is partly ( a fraught issue) responsible for shorter lifespans than any other advanced economy, along with astronomical drug prices. “Free at point of delivery”, Tories think, has produced a population of whingers and takers, who rush to the doctor with the start of every cold. Friends- of- conservatives should be able to benefit from juicy contracts, and the poor will just have to get on their bikes and work to pay for healthcare, just like their American counterparts. Thus, the NHS will soon cost, instead of the current 9.8% of GNP , some figure similar to the American figure of 18%. Intelligent?