Saturday, April 2, 2011

Instinct & Politics: Coca-Cola & NHS

Some politicians have an instinct to survive and dare we say even achieve greatness; others struggle and barely manage to stay afloat.

History showed us that some can turn what seem like a catastrophic disaster around and even prosper from it. Coca-Cola’s now famous attempt to change the taste to New Coca-Cola was met with such a consumer backlash that the management swiftly return to the Classic formula and eventually New Coca-Cola was dropped. Or did they!!! In fact the Diet Coke’s flavour is that of the New Coca-Cola that never was. In the States, the Classic Coca-Cola is not all that classic either as it uses HFCS instead of cane sugar. In Mexico & Europe and the Far East, they still use sugar. There you have it!!!

Nick Clegg has probably not got that instinct I talked about as it would seem to me that Dave Cameron might be stealing what could have been his show: The NHS Is Safe With Me!

But if you read the small print:

Under the terms of the compromise deal, GPs who do not want to take charge of the health service budget for their area will not now be forced to do so.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley today announced the fourth wave of GP-led pathfinder consortia, bringing the total coverage to nearly 90% of patients in England.

My elementary mathematics told me that 10% of GPs will be allowed not to join a consortium. Great!!!

Some very clever people.

I just hope that NO means NO this time.

Back to Nick Clegg: do you have that instinct?

No we want the old NHS!!! 

Perhaps politicians can learn from this: you can say all the bad things about the NHS and you can quote how badly we are doing but we still love our NHS for all its short comings and perhaps if politicians have not been so interfering and allow us doctors, nurses and patients to make things work together we may indeed have a better NHS. All the analysis on the reform is clear about one thing: someone is going to make money and that means less money for actual health care.

Because, reading between the lines, that is what it is. If Andrew Lansley can have his way the ordinary citizens who cannot afford health care insurance will get inferior care in a society hat needs to ration its skilled medical professionals. It is no good trying to pretend it is any other way.

Just like the Coca-Cola in Mexico.

As a doctor it is amusing to find that when given the choice of sugar or HFCS, sugar now looks like the new health food.

Our generation had the best of the NHS.  We had the best of the welfare state including free education, free health care and above all freedom from fear of health care bills.  Now it is up to your generation to fight for what we are in danger of destroying. The BMA are considering taking a legal challenge against the government, you should add your voices. Ultimately the battle for the NHS is a political battle and unless you make your voices heard then the NHS will be lost. Not one citizen in England can afford to lose their NHS; the scale of the public health casualties will be too great if the Bill is passed.  The abolition of the NHS should not be our legacy to your generation for how can you care properly in the knowledge that so many will go uncared for.  Its your NHS but only for so long as you care enough to fight for it.

Link: Jobbing Doctor: Wobble?

It is all smoke and mirrors at the moment, and we may be too hopeful: I'm waiting and seeing.

Suddenly all that changed and, surprisingly, the Liberal Democrats too abandoned the evolutionary reforms of the past 30 years of an internal market, and instead embraced Andrew Lansley's external one – a market of price competition, with the EU's competition policy progressively poking its nose into every nook and cranny of our NHS. Furthermore, the proven democratic control of a rationed health service that maintained record levels of satisfaction among the public was to be.

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