freethinkeruk recently made a hospital booking for a minor medical procedure at my local community hospital. I used the new on-line book it yourself system which seemed OK until I received the inevitable paper confirmation in the post subject to me returning a paper form and the hospital’s receipt of my GP’s written confirmation. What on Earth is the point of a computerised system that requires paper confirmation every step of the way? What a waste of money! By the way GPs do have a choice whether to use the new system or not but they do get an inducement of around 70p per booking if they do. What!
Anyway, to my main point. When I got the paperwork I discovered not just the NHS logo on the header but also one of ‘Ramsey Health Care’ which on investigation turns out to be an Australian Private hospital group that has been given a contract with the NHS to carry out 95,000 procedures. It’s a ‘no brainer’ to realise that ‘Private + Contract = Profit = money lost from the NHS’. Obviously this loss makes it all the harder for NHS hospitals to improve their service and hence the easier it for politicians to say we need more private involvement. Over time this in turn will lead to the demise of our beloved NHS, the service that came in after the war despite fierce opposition and has been improving our lives ever since. We can shrug our shoulders saying ‘what can we do?’ or stand up and fight every inch of the way to keep, maintain and improve this precious resource that still, just, belongs to each and every one of us.
By the way, in case you wonder what freethinkeruk did, he cancelled the appointment and is demanding treatment in a genuine NHS hospital rather than letting the cost associated with his treatment fall into private hands. A small protest yes, but if we all did it?…………….