Monday, August 8, 2011

Emperor’s New Clothes: Modern Era & The NHS

Mom, they are not wearing clothes!

Hermitage Museum ©2008 Am Ang Zhang

It is amazing how the few things we picked up from early childhood serve us well into our adult life.

Politicians continue to want us to believe that they have new clothes on.


One of the best New Clothes in recent times is of course from across the pond. The New Clothes had to be well tailored and it started with the Repeal Of The Glass-Steagall Act.

It reversed what was, for more than six decades, a framework that had governed the functions and reach of the nation's largest banks (Glass-Steagall Act ). As a result, banks are no longer limited by laws and regulations: commercial and investment banks can now merge. Many have already begun the process, including, among others, J.P. Morgan and Citicorp. Banks can now sell insurance and stock. Nearly $300 million was spent to lobby the Senators.

No big deal, you might think.

Then came the child, good looking and not so little child: Meredith Whitney
Like the child in the fairy tale who announced that the Emperor had no clothes, Whitney was the first analyst – and for a while the only one – to say that Citi’s financial performance was underwhelming. In the uproar that followed, most of her peers questioned her conclusions and sided with Citi. But now that Citigroup is struggling to survive, along with other banks inside and outside the US, Whitney’s fellow analysts have turned just as negative about the industry as she is.
For an expert in quantitative analysis, there is nothing geeky about Whitney. She talks in a friendly, straightforward manner and avoids jargon, believing that clear information “empowers” investors to make the best decisions. Whitney describes herself as a competitor. She even challenged billionaire Warren Buffett on the question of which of them earned more money delivering newspapers door-to-door as kids.
The rest is history:
“Phil Gramm, a Republican senator from Texas who co-authored the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed many key provisions of Glass-Steagall, later went to work for UBS AG, the Swiss bank whose foray into investment banking contributed an 88% drop in its shares since June 2007. Robert Rubin, a Clinton administration Treasury secretary who advocated Glass-Steagall’s repeal, went on to work for Citigroup, which lost $27.7 billion in 2008 and has needed $45 billion in government funds to remain solvent.”
Now that was America, what has that got to do with us.
Looks like the tailors for our NHS Reform is much cleverer. The new clothes comes in many guises.
No geographic limit
GPs now decide on your health needs
Market forces are good: internal & external
Any Willing Provider
NHS 111

We have many smart kids screaming: the Emperor had no clothes.

Take NHS 111 (soon to be NHS Won Won Won perhaps?)

The child: none other than Richard Blogger!!!

NHS Direct was always intended to be an initial solution, and in 2009 the previous government commissioned pilots to extend the service with closer integration with urgent care providers and to use a software system called NHS Pathways. This new system was piloted in four areas of England to assess the effectiveness against NHS Direct. In 2010 the new government - before the assessments were completed - announced that the new NHS 111 service would be rolled out to the entire country. Sadly, this service is yet another one that the government wants to privatise by opening up to other providers.

Last year there was a fuss when it became apparent that the government wanted to close NHS Direct, and as a result of the outrage the service was given a reprieve. But like everything with this weasel government, the "reprieve" was only partial because the government merely said that NHS Direct would be expected to be just one of several providers of the new NHS 111 service. Yes, that is right, the government thinks that there has to be competition. Bizarre? Indeed. We live in Lala land ruled by people who think that nothing can work without enforced and inappropriate competition. 

"strategic health authorities have been given seven weeks to tell the DoH how and when they plan to roll-out NHS 111 hotlines across their area ... one senior GP warned the deadline was 'crazy' given that the pilot NHS 111 schemes across the UK were either incomplete, or yet even to begin"

                             Read about the Emperor here>>>>>

Have they not considered fraud for NHS 111. How easy would it be for fake phone calls to be made and for the newly privatised NHS 111 to collect £16.00 or more per call.

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