web analytics

The NHS and privatisation

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, December 10th, 2019 - 18 comments
Categories: Austerity, boris johnson, Brexit, Economy, Free Trade, Jeremy Corbyn, politicans, uk politics - Tags: , , , , , ,

Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major in 2016 commented that the NHS would be as safe as a pet hamster in the presence of a hungry python if Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Iain Duncan Smith rose to power following Brexit. 3 years on and those three have risen to the top of the Conservative Party. How safe is the NHS?

Today Boris Johnson had a train wreck of an interview today, where he refused to look at a photo of a 4 year old with suspected pneumonia forced to lie on a pile of coats on the floor of a Leeds hospital. Rather than acknowledge the photo, the Prime Minister snatched the phone and put it in his pocket. Bizarre behaviour. And the actions of someone rattled and on the back foot.

Image result for Jack Williment-Barr
4 year old Jack Williment-Barr with suspected pneumonia forced to lie on a pile of coats on the floor of a Leeds hospital. 

Recent polling surveys have shown that the NHS has overtaken Brexit as the main election issue. This makes the terrible interview by the Prime Minister even more concerning for the Tories. 

Secret documents released by Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn show that in talks with the US the topic of access to the NHS has come up. This is consistent with the approach taken by the US in other trade negotiations. Back in 2016 when negotiations for The Trans Pacific Partnership (TTPA) trade agreement between pacific nations were in full flight, this issue came up. In New Zealand there was concern that subsidised prescriptions would be put at risk due to conditions being pushed by the US in the trade negotiations. 

Because the Conservatives have said they stand for a hard Brexit, rather than retaining a customs union with the EU, they need to find significant trading parters. The US is the obvious one. But the US don’t just give away easy trade deals. Healthcare and medicine is highly profitable, and the US would want a piece of that action in any trade deal.

The NHS is well loved by the British public. It is seen as something which makes British society decent and civilised. That the NHS is now stretched and badly underfunded is seen as a national outrage. Fears of even further privatisation of the NHS due to a US trade deal has unsurprisingly made the NHS the number one election issue.

With only 3 days to go until the election, we can expect to hear much much more about the NHS before polling opens.

To support Momentum campaign for a Corbyn led Labour Government in the UK you can give your support here.

18 comments on “The NHS and privatisation ”

  1. NZJester 1

    The Tory party in the UK has been underfunding its health system as an excuse to now try and privatize it. It seems very similar to what National was doing here when last in Government and was likely trying to set up our health system to be sold off as well.

  2. greywarshark 2

    If you are suffering from ennui over Brexit – take a break before you return to the fray.

    There needs to be some deductive reasoning in the UK, the home of Monty Python. All pollies should watch this as a cautionary tale.

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9PY_3E3h2c

    Did they ever study more than the names of the philosophers at their respective universities:

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfduUFF_i1A

    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b7r5jIEe9s

  3. Wayne 3

    NZjester

    You are well named. You have absolutely zero evidence that National ever intended to do that. You are just making it up.

    I know for certain that no one in National has even remotely suggested that.

    The only health debates we ever have in NZ is the level of public funding, and the number of operations. Apparently there are fewer elective surgeries done per year by the current government than the previous government. That is the sort of debate we have here. Not your ludicrous proposition that National intends to sell off the health system.

      • David 3.1.1

        Said Pete Hodgson, Labour Party MP, way back in 2007.

        • Incognito 3.1.1.1

          enlightened

          • greywarshark 3.1.1.1.1

            Pete Hodgson in 2007 said (from the link above):

            National has revealed its prejudices of wanting to privatise health care and has set a path that would see them Americanising the New Zealand health system, Minister of Health Pete Hodgson said today.

            “Its is astonishing to me that after eight years in opposition they still have no policy, only a discussion document. But a careful reading shows that they have resurrected their privatisation agenda, especially when it comes to elective surgery,” Pete Hodgson said.

    • joe90 3.2

      Crown Health Enterprises

      /

    • Graeme 3.3

      Oh, so your metric for health 'progress' is the number of elective surgeries performed.

      There's a hell of a lot more to health outcomes than replacing worn out hips on the public purse.

      My partner had to wait two years to have her gall bladder removed and was in a pretty bad way by the time it came out in 2011. She's now off work, waiting for urgent surgery to remove a grapefruit sized cyst from the same place.

      Tightness, and trying to shunt patients out to private, has really great health outcomes.

    • Grafton Gully 3.4

      You decided to volunteer for the territorials and "served as an infantry Major in 3rd Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly's Own) and Northland Regiment Royal New Zealand Territorial Army, later specialising in military intelligence". Service in the NZDF affects the health of service people and their targets. But you imply this is not a "health debate" in NZ ?

      http://health.nzdf.mil.nz/mind/some-common-mental-health-issues/ptsd/

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12043787

  4. Peter Bradley 4

    The claim that the NHS is a cherished institution in the UK is utter bollocks and belied by the fact the the UK electorate has retained some form of Conservative government for almost 10 years and appears likely to give it another 5 years by the end of this week. This is despite the Conservatives consistent and open hostility to properly funding the NHS and other welfare services for the elderly, poor and vulnerable. Ordinary UK citizens – middle and working class – who have nothing to gain from reduced public services and lower taxes on the wealthy, are nevertheless convinced that this is the only valid and correct way to manage their economy.

    Until it actually happens to them or someone they care about and they are lying in a trolley in a corridor or waiting too long to be assessed for a treatable disease most voters in the UK – and most Western democracies for that matter – need little convincing of the importance of making sacrifices to protect the wealthy and powerful.

    We have a similar story here in NZ where every week somebody dies of treatable cancer because our public health system is underfunded. But no-one dares to connect the dots to NZ's private health industry and it's market driven requirement for frightened and vulnerable middle-class fee paying patients. Without deliberate government reticence and under-funding of the public health system the private health insurance and medical industries could not survive in NZ.

    Any mention of broadening our tax base or increasing government revenue is met with howls of outrage and disgust while rural mothers give birth to their children on the side of the road and entrenched child poverty remains untouched – even under a Labour led government.

    That voters willingly accept and choose this type of economic structure without question is a credit to the propaganda of the center right. When things get really bad for the poor and working class all you need to do is tell them it's all the fault of immigrants and you get voted in again without a whimper of protest. Which is exactly what the whole Brexit charade is about. It's sickening.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      'treatable cancer' – is that cancer that can be put into remission for a longish period by the state paying large sums of money and neglecting others who aren't terminally ill? What about the needs of children, the ill from poor households, and most of the young adult cohort, apart from the always growing older cohort who want to live like princes till they drop.

      • Gabby 4.1.1

        Well greysy, the illnesses of poverty can best be treated through prevention can't thy.

        • Brigid 4.1.1.1

          Well no. Because Greywarshark doesn't suffer from those illnesses.

          • greywarshark 4.1.1.1.1

            Brigid you have no idea what you are talking about when you make comments about me. An attempt to discuss openly important matters in a rational way, not just from the point of view of someone who demands largesse for themselves, or someone they know and doesn't care about others who are even more needy, gets nowhere with the self-centred with high personal expectations today. The others, poor, it's their fault they suffer, why should I care about them. It seems to be the way we handle the unfair distribution of resources and opportunities in this oh so kind country with big hearts and flowers when it come to something big enough to emote about.

  5. swordfish 5

    Recent polling surveys have shown that the NHS has overtaken Brexit as the main election issue.

    Fears of even further privatisation of the NHS due to a US trade deal has unsurprisingly made the NHS the number one election issue.

    Latest polls suggest not:

    Survation (5-7 Dec 2019)

    Q: What would you say is the number one issue for you when it comes to deciding your vote ?

    Entire Sample

    Brexit 29%

    NHS 17%

    Economy 5%

    Only Labour voters choose the NHS as their Number One issue (and even that's a relatively close-run thing: Labour voters: NHS 29% / Brexit 22%) … With Tories it's Brexit 48% / NHS 7% … with LDs it's Brexit 39% / NHS 12%.

    Meanwhile, the latest Deltapoll suggests increased focus on the NHS doesn't necessarily favour Labour:

    Deltapoll (5-7 Dec 2019)

    Q: Which of the following do you think would be best for the National Health Service ?

    Entire Sample

    (i) Conservative government led by Boris Johnson with Matt Hancock as Health Secretary … 44%

    (ii) Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn with John Ashworth as Health Secretary … … … 34%

    Don't Know … 22%

    In Marginal Seats it's even worse: … 54% sayTories better for NHS / 31% Labour.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      I'll say a little prayer for the UK who need to be as bold as Boris and vote for Jeremy. I fear they will not want to take the unpleasant medicine that would enable them to hold onto the NHS and work out how to manage good health on less. They will probably go for well furnished waiting rooms and hospitals, glossy reports, and wonder drugs, for those who can afford it all, coming from privatisation.

      And more neglect of the unglamorous masses. That is a word of disgust to Conservatives because it reminds them of socialism which attempts to deal with the problem of there being large numbers of people who are continually being robbed of opportunities for livelihoods and forced into random work, little pay, hovels, sickness, depression and drugs. Just like in the good old times, degradation and 'Gin for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence'.

  6. Brigid 6

    A film by John Pilger on the NHS.

    The more you privatise the more waste you add to the system. Prior to Thatcher's reforms (which were just the beginning and have been ramped up considerably since) the administrative costs were estimated at less than 5%. It's now running in the order of 20%.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBnJm-5tnRY&feature=youtu.be

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    10 hours ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago