Tuesday, February 5, 2013

NHS & The Ruling Class: Harmoni & Sweden

Now and again, a member of the ruling class fell. Even the son was disgusted.

I am reminded of the genius of Wagner who warned us about the Ruling Class years ago.      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A culture of corruption pervades the links between government and business,
 fuelled by and fuelling privatisation. 
These relationships are  – a conspiracy against the public interest.

Adam Smith

Our NHS:

As we are ourselves experiencing the worst from our ruling class over the NHS and its so called reform, Wagner’s opera is an uncomfortable reminder that we should never have trusted the ruling class.

Even before the new Bill was passed, changes were in place in the NHS that made it impossible to go back. Now it looks as though the changes were much worse than first thought. Doctor leaders were hoping that there is still decency in our ruling class. 

Well, unfortunately many of us will be disappointed, dismayed and disgusted.

Please do not get me wrong, it is not a simple privatisation. We are not really following the US. They regulate insurers where we do not. If we were required to get insurance Obama Style it might have been better. No, basically even if you get the top insurance there will be conditions that will be left to your friendly NHS hospitals. Just check your policy if you do not believe me. 

No it is under the guise of COMPETITION.

It is allowing Any Qualified Provider (privateer if you must know) to cream off. But it is not as simple as that. Recent PIP private clinics not only refused to remove the implants but went into administration to avoid paying compensation. There is as yet not legislation to guarantee NHS patients. Even travellers seem better protected.

In health care, DEATH is irreversible.

The NHS has been by and large highly efficient as it has avoided the pitfall of internal market system until recent years.

The crazy bonus system, internal market and Pavlovian style reward system skewed the efficient NHS to breaking point.

A once fairly integrated health care system where many doctors and nurses contributed free extra hours became a scandal ridden system where OOH fight not to see patients and not let A & E see them either. Or else OOH are run by so few doctors that patients suffered or died.

But it could be worse as the new AQPs do not seem to be liable:

The Guardian: Harmoni OOH

The family of a young woman is suing the country's biggest out-of-hours GP provider and one of its nurses, whose failures meant her fatal condition was not diagnosed, because neither will accept liability in a test case over legal responsibility in a privatised NHS.

Clare Secker, 19, died of bronchopneumonia in December 2008 after a nurse working for the privately-run telephone service told her parents to give her paracetamol and fluids.

Earlier this year the nurse admitted through her lawyers that she had been "in breach of her duty by failing to arrange for [Secker] to be seen by a doctor". If the young mother, who died when her son Tyler was less than a year old, had been prescribed antibiotics she would have recovered fully.

Despite this neither the firm, which was part of the Harmoni out-of-hours service until it was bought by Care UK in November 2012, nor the nurse has offered compensation to the family.

The nurse claims she does not need to pay out as her employment contract specifically states that the company had insurance in place "to indemnify … for any claim arising from any wrongful act committed by … any employee while carrying out their contractual obligations". But Harmoni says its insurance excludes responsibility for negligence by nurses.

With the Health and Social Care Act 2012 leading to more NHS contracts going to private providers, lawyers are concerned that the fragmented system will lead to a loss of accountability.

"It cannot be right that patients no longer know who is actually providing their care, or for those who are harmed to have the additional stress of providers trying to dodge responsibility by pointing to a clause in a contract or insurance policy. Until something disastrous happens we, the public, think we are still within the safety net of the NHS and increasingly that's just not the case. There is little transparency or protection, it seems to me."

Hospitals now fight other hospitals and the failed ones will be handed over to privateers. Some of these have the highest mortality rates. I am surprised that they are not sold  off for just a single pound.

The more failed hospitals, the better for the government. Once they washed their hands off, it is not their problem. If the privately run hospital failed, they change CEO, change ownership and continue. 

The GMC has been quiet about them as they have with the Breast Implant ones and many other plastic surgery private hospitals. 

Yet, right now the NHS picked up the mess of the PIP implants. The private companies pocketed the money. Lots of money.                                                                                                   

Lesson from Sweden:

Perhaps most damaging for private investors drawn by the potential profits to be made from the state has been the probing of their affairs by tax inspectors. The industry has been under scrutiny since 2007, when a spate of high-profile deals, including the buyout of Capio, led to investigations into financiers.
The charge is that private equity firms siphon profits out of the state's coffers while avoiding their fair share of taxes. Berglund, of Capio, says: "It is always thrown about that we are not paying taxes but it is not true."
Swedish tax authorities are, however, taking some companies to court because pay in private equity groups is often linked to the profits made on deals and has been incorrectly taxed, it is said, for years at rates lower than that required for income in Sweden.
Earlier this month one of Capio's owners, a private equity firm called Nordic Capital, lost a court case against the Swedish tax agency, leaving it with a bill of 672m Swedish krona (£63m). The authorities, it is reported, will also slap a tax bill collectively of 2.6bn krona on another 34 individuals.

"There has been a strong reaction in Sweden. These people have been paying themselves enormous sums of money," says Dahlgren. "It should be a worry for every health system where you have competition and private firms arriving."                            
Soon they will start selling off the famous hospitals.

The NHS (England) as we know it will soon disappear. 

Wagner’s opera will always be there: The Ring: Child Psychiatry & Human Behaviour

So will Finland's forest!

© 2012 Am Ang Zhang

If they are not RULING, where are they?

Virginia Bottomley: Secretary of State for Health 1992-95   now with BUPA. Cousin  of  Jeremy Hunt.

So there’s Jeremy newly installed as Health Secretary after just seven short years as an MP. This is a summary of his meteoric rise:

He made a fortune at the taxpayers’ expense as monopoly supplier to a notorious quango where, by happy coincidence, his cousin sat on the Board. He became MP for SW Surrey where, by happy coincidence, his cousin had been MP previously. He became Minister in charge of Media & Culture where, by happy coincidence, he wound up steering his pals at Newscorp in the right direction. And he became Health Secretary partly because, by happy coincidence, his cousin is a lobbyist for the private health sector.

“Interestingly, former health ministers have done particularly well. The ex-health secretary Patricia Hewitt earns more than £100,000 as a consultant for Alliance Boots and Cinven, a private equity group that bought 25 private hospitals from Bupa. After leaving the department, her predecessor, Alan Milburn, worked for Bridgepoint Capital, which successfully bid for NHS contracts, and now boasts a striking portfolio of jobs with private health companies.”

Alan Milburn

Following his resignation as Secretary of State for Health (to spend more time with his family, his partner is a hospital doctor), Milburn took a post for £30,000 a year as an advisor to Bridgepoint Capital, a venture capital firm heavily involved in financing private health care firms moving into the NHS, including Alliance Medical, Match Group, Medica and the Robinia Care Group. He has been Member of Advisory Board of Pepsico since April 2007. Wikipedia

 Alan Milburn now also holds a place on the board of PepsiCo as an advisor.        Wikipedia

Patricia Hewitt

In January 2008, it was announced that Hewitt had been appointed "special consultant" to the world's largest chemists, Alliance Boots. Such an appointment was controversial given Hewitt's former role as Health Minister, resulting in objections to her appointment by members of a Parliamentary committee. Hewitt will also become the "special adviser" to private equity company Cinven, which paid £1.4 billion for Bupa's UK hospitals.

In March 2008, it was announced that Hewitt will join the BT Group board as a non-executive director.[40] She joined the group on 24 March 2008. In July 2009, Patricia Hewitt joined the UK India Business Council as its Chair.

In May 2009 The Daily Telegraph reported that Hewitt claimed £920 in legal fees when she moved out of a flat in her constituency, stayed in hotels and then rented another flat inLeicester. Claimed for furniture including £194 for blinds delivered to her London home. In June 2009 Hewitt announced that she will be stepping down from the House of Commons. She said she was leaving the Commons for personal reasons as she wanted to spend more time with her family.   Wikipedia

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