Saturday, September 3, 2011

NHS Reform: Shirley Williams, South Africa & Shadow Elite

Mr Lansley is right to want greater freedom for doctors to work with their patients and to restrain political interference in the NHS. But to throw out accountability in order to tackle petty interference is to undermine democracy itself.

…….Why have so many of our politicians, Labour and Conservative, sought to introduce a market into health? I am not against a private element in the NHS, which may bring innovation and good practice, provided it is within the framework of a public service – complementary but not wrecking. But why have they been bewitched by a flawed US system? I worked in the US for a decade between the 1980s and 1990s and saw the misery of people who could not afford even to insure themselves against the catastrophe of serious ill health.

One of the emails released by the department shows that officials at the private sector firm McKinsey, which advises ministers, were in active discussion about bringing in overseas firms to take over up to 20 hospitals in return for contracts running into hundreds of millions of pounds. An email to Ian Dalton, head of provider development at the Department of Health, who is heavily involved in the reform programme, in November last year talks about "interest in new solution for 10-20 hospitals but starting from a mindset of one at a time with various political constraints".

The emails show that McKinsey is acting as a broker between the department and "international players" that are bidding to run the NHS. The documents even lay out some of the conditions required by "international hospital provider groups" for running NHS hospitals. "International players can do an initiative if 500 million revenue [is] on the table." They also need to have "a free hand on staff management". The NHS would be allowed to "keep real estate and pensions".

Overseas Firm?

It would not be from South Africa, would it?

Kruger National Park ©Am Ang Zhang 2011

The one involved in the Kidney Scandal?

Here is what healthcare group Netcare wants you to believe: 109 kidney transplants were performed at the St Augustine's Hospital in Durban, racking up bills of about R21-million, and senior management wasn't paying any attention. 

It couldn't have been expected to notice that 109 well-off, Hebrew-speaking Israelis had passed through the doors in quick succession, accompanied by 109 poor people, most of them Portuguese-speaking Brazilians. Neither could it be expected to question the affidavits signed by all 218 stating that they were relatives. 
                                                                             Fake and kidneys


The worst performer was the Greater Manchester Surgical Centre, run by South African group Netcare. There, only 56 per cent of contracted procedures were carried out. Netcare received nearly £38m for “phantom” operations.                        

BBC & Internal Market:

John Birt brought in McKinsey and set about introducing hard-headed business principles to what was a creative but flabby organisation. ……But some initiatives never quite worked. One was an "internal market". Some programme editors found as a result that it was cheaper to buy a CD from a megastore than borrow one from the BBC library.

McKinsey has since repaid the favour to Lord Birt by hiring him as a part-time consultant on overseas media issues.

Oooops, McKinsey in reverse.

 "Enron has built a reputation as one of the world's most innovative companies by attacking and atomising traditional industry structures," McKinsey gushed in a report published a few months before Enron's collapse.

It's also worth remembering that Jeff Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, is a member of the McKinsey.

It is not Greeks that could destroy the NHS, but if Monitor, the new economic regulator, is filled with competition economists with a zeal for imposing competition at every opportunity, then the NHS could be changed beyond recognition.

It is no use "liberating" the NHS from top down political control only to shackle it to an unelected economic regulator.”

David Bennett is now Chairman of Monitor and he was a Director at McKinsey & Co. In his 18 years with McKinsey he served a wide range of companies in most industry sectors, but with a particular focus on regulated, technology-intensive industries.

Remember the Shadow Elite!!!

The 21st century power brokers -- less stable, less visible, more peripatetic, and more global in reach than their elite forebears -- are potentially more insidious and dangerous to democracy. Their manoeuvrings are largely beyond the reach of traditional monitors. Unlike the rest of us, these players are virtually immune to accountability to voters or government or corporate overseers, because the full range of their activities and their true agendas are more difficult to detect.         

The Independent: The might of the McKinsey mob 

1 comment:

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Just posted something similar (but not as classy!) after reading The Observer yesterday.

Things don't look to good do they?

Anna :o[