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Vinci Ho

Vinci Ho

  • Shifting GP contract to private provider 'increased costs by 64%'

    Vinci Ho's comment 21 May 2017 1:50pm

    The certainties and unpredictabilities of an extraordinary general election

    ''The people of England regards itself as free; but it is grossly mistaken; it is free only during the election of members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and it is nothing.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
    ..................................

    Some really long thoughts before I could write this comment. The time is about right as all parties had made pledges through their manifestos. Some critics would say these pledges are promises never to be delivered. As Rousseau alluded , an election was merely a game of politics to grant people power to dominate others . He , hence,advocated direct democracy rather than representative parliamentary politics . While I cannot totally agree but this is still a very good substance for academic debates.
    But we have extraordinary circumstances right here , right now . The EU referendum last year , by definition, was an exercise of direct democracy(though only on a single issue)which did not come often as far as political culture in the country is concerned (Scottish independence referendum was arguably only voted by people living in Scotland).
    Rather than providing solutions, this exercise of direct democracy generated more questions for us to think about our future and coming generations. A revolutionary idea always comes with prices: resignation of a fully confident prime minister , severing a long term relationship with our neighbours(people called it a divorce but that logically ,should require agreements to go separate ways from both sides!), economic uncertainties with a depreciated English pound(with pros and cons) and an early call of a general election while many people are probably exhausted mentally.
    Ironically , we need to revert back to indirect democracy and let our politicians to 'mop up' the mess made by this result of this EU referendum.
    So it goes back to the old , boring question, ' which party am I going believe?'
    If you are die hard fan, you perhaps have an easy answer(or not ??). Or if you are convinced by the media polls , the winner is too obvious even though there has been some catching up by Labour in recent days.The odds offered by the bookies are like : 6 to 1 for Corbyn to be PM , 10 to 1 for no majority win , 20 to 1 for Labour majority win and they are not interested in bets for May to be PM. Given the results of the recent local election , there should be no second guess technically and Tories should be preparing themselves for the exuberance and even
    debauchery of a landslide victory.
    So is that it?
    ................................

    ''This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.''
    Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

    From Home Secretary to Prime Minister , May remains in the comfort zone of a technocrat , strong and stable easily . She is long way from being charismatic and visionary (at least superficially) . Denying the existence of 'Mayism' somehow shot herself in the foot when one started to compare with long serving PMs like Thatcher and Blair. In a way , one has to respect her 'honesty' because quite frankly, the Tory 'manifesto to win big majority' was stitched up by her aides. The changes in social care funding could potentially become their ' Achilles' calcaneum 'shot by Paris in the Trojan War.
    My mate Simon said ,'she does not have any children and is not qualified to be a PM!'. My take is while it is unfair to dig into personal matters , it is important to understand how our elderlies see their own as well as their children's future. There is a Chinese saying,'when there is a new policy from the top , there will be strategy to counteract from down below.' The threshold of £100,000 after which you have to pay for your social care without a ceiling (the total cost was capped at £75,000 currently, a policy from Cameron in 2013) will simply enforce old people to rethink and sell their properties to cash out and give away anything in excess of £100,000 to their children and relatives. This , of course, can generate uncertainties or even rivalries amongst family members . As GPs long enough in this business, how often did we come across similar stories when our elderly patients die? Ultimately, people would not let the State retrieve this money after death .
    One would wonder why this policy even needed to appear on the manifesto. The answer perhaps goes back to the single objective of winning a majority of seats in House of Commons so as to produce a strong and stable leadership and accordingly, would deliver a 'good' deal on Brexit negotiations. A landslide fallacy can be negated by a landslide victory. So technically, for May , she needs to win back votes from UKIP(relatively easy now) and confiscate those from Labour supporters (and the undecided). Somebody called her the 'Red Tory' and indeed ,her views on the Just About Managing (JAMs) might sound like justice. The truth is she had to succumb to her true colour with no freedom. On Brexit , she had to surrender to the far right brexiters in the government. On domestic issues , she ended up with a row with her Chancellor(rumours suggested he swore down the phone),as there was no alternative to raising tax or national insurance to solve a genuine problem of social care funding. Thanks to Cameron again with his 2015 manifesto.
    On NHS , she dared not use a different health secretary , burying the head in the sand for all the crises on going in the health service . Repeating all the rhetorics used by Cameron is the best she can do. On education , she loves the old Tory ideology of grammar school and clearly drew blood with the ex-education secretary (well entertained by the cat-fight stories about how much their pants and handbags cost!).
    May be , just may be , as Enoch Powell once said ,
    'For all prime ministers , their human flaws are inevitably amplified by the stresses in office , eventually end up as failures.'
    At least,I now do believe Auntie May is not Auntie Thatcher 2.0 , just as Uncle Trump is never Uncle Reagan 2.0.
    ..............................
    Trying to move on with lives after the local election , Labour simply produced a manifesto to 'please' . It is always easier for the oppositions if the ruling government is dogged by all sorts of contradictions. Clearly , the distraction of Brexit is perhaps so far reaching that May and her cabinet are putting more doubts in people's mind.
    But once again , history sticks(especially if people involved in the stories are still alive). Corbyn and McDonnell are both haunted by their old selves . The former cannot shake away from his affiliation with anti-nuclear campaigns and still stuttered on the question whether he would 'press the button ' in life and death crisis . The latter's faith on Marxism(he wanted to call himself socialist now) is questionable. And both were named in a The Telegraph's report(19.5.2017)about M15 opened a file on their links to IRA.
    While the prime minister and her party are willing to continue austerity on public sectors with low taxation , Labour is to open the cheque book with at least higher corporation tax . Typically, the latter wants to swing the pendulum all the way to the left with policies like nationalising the mail , rail and energy firms. Even my mother-in-law would say the answer to these is simply raising the tax. Question is how desperately have these domestic issues deteriorated over the last few years? And , yes, Brexit is once again blocking in the way as far as solutions are concerned.
    Ultimately, it is about the lives of common people. This general election cannot be just about Brexit. In fact , recent surveys suggested the 'fever' amongst voters is dying down .
    Interestingly , even The Economist published a critique on McDonnell's attachment on Marxism(13/5/2017):
    'Labour is right—Karl Marx has a lot to teach today’s politicians' While the author clearly supported a landslide victory of the conservatives,absolute capitalism will harm people and the economy. Quoted from the article:
    ''the number of listed companies has declined at a time when profits are close to their highest levels ever. Concentration is particularly pronounced in the most advanced sectors of the economy ''
    '' Average wages are still below their level before the financial crisis in 2008 and are not expected to exceed it for several years. The rise of the Uber economy threatens to turn millions of people into casual workers who eat only what they can kill.''
    The pay gap between company CEOs and ordinary workers is widening and middle class is on its way to extinction.
    Bottom line is 'do you believe a strong and stable government only for the sake of Brexit will be up for these more essential deep-seated domestic issues?' I don't have the answer.
    Confucius said ' one cannot stand if people do not trust' ,Analects. For modern politics, it is perhaps more about who and what you trust the least .

    PS : one has to excuse my relative lack of attention on Lib Dems and UKIP. The former is struggling with their mission of redemption and atonement as far as the young voters are concerned. The latter , mmmm, internal fightings with actual physical brawl ,only ex-MP went through mutiny twice and a short lady leadership of only 18 days ,tell you all about the virtues.

  • Shifting GP contract to private provider 'increased costs by 64%'

    Vinci Ho's comment 21 May 2017 1:49pm

    Always about uneven distribution of resources:
    'Unwilling to give away money for a good purpose but
    more than willing to let go for injustice'
    The contradiction of the government is going down the route of capitalism/marketing on APMS on one hand and collectivism with austerity on the rest of general practice on the other.
    Of course , the ultimate agenda is to pull out from funding and investing in NHS as much as possible. Sooner or later, I think even private providers will leave as things dry out further .The overall austerity of NHS is to carry on so as to be , as I said in the past, part of the STP(sustainability and transformation plan) of Brexit .

  • Tory funding plans will leave NHS with £12bn deficit by 2020, analysis shows

    Vinci Ho's comment 21 May 2017 1:22pm

    The certainties and unpredictabilities of an extraordinary general election

    ''The people of England regards itself as free; but it is grossly mistaken; it is free only during the election of members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and it is nothing.''
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
    ..................................

    Some really long thoughts before I could write this comment. The time is about right as all parties had made pledges through their manifestos. Some critics would say these pledges are promises never to be delivered. As Rousseau alluded , an election was merely a game of politics to grant people power to dominate others . He , hence,advocated direct democracy rather than representative parliamentary politics . While I cannot totally agree but this is still a very good substance for academic debates.
    But we have extraordinary circumstances right here , right now . The EU referendum last year , by definition, was an exercise of direct democracy(though only on a single issue)which did not come often as far as political culture in the country is concerned (Scottish independence referendum was arguably only voted by people living in Scotland).
    Rather than providing solutions, this exercise of direct democracy generated more questions for us to think about our future and coming generations. A revolutionary idea always comes with prices: resignation of a fully confident prime minister , severing a long term relationship with our neighbours(people called it a divorce but that logically ,should require agreements to go separate ways from both sides!), economic uncertainties with a depreciated English pound(with pros and cons) and an early call of a general election while many people are probably exhausted mentally.
    Ironically , we need to revert back to indirect democracy and let our politicians to 'mop up' the mess made by this result of this EU referendum.
    So it goes back to the old , boring question, ' which party am I going believe?'
    If you are die hard fan, you perhaps have an easy answer(or not ??). Or if you are convinced by the media polls , the winner is too obvious even though there has been some catching up by Labour in recent days.The odds offered by the bookies are like : 6 to 1 for Corbyn to be PM , 10 to 1 for no majority win , 20 to 1 for Labour majority win and they are not interested in bets for May to be PM. Given the results of the recent local election , there should be no second guess technically and Tories should be preparing themselves for the exuberance and even
    debauchery of a landslide victory.
    So is that it?
    ................................

    ''This is the best reason to learn history: not in order to predict the future, but to free yourself of the past and imagine alternative destinies. Of course this is not total freedom – we cannot avoid being shaped by the past. But some freedom is better than none.''
    Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

    From Home Secretary to Prime Minister , May remains in the comfort zone of a technocrat , strong and stable easily . She is long way from being charismatic and visionary (at least superficially) . Denying the existence of 'Mayism' somehow shot herself in the foot when one started to compare with long serving PMs like Thatcher and Blair. In a way , one has to respect her 'honesty' because quite frankly, the Tory 'manifesto to win big majority' was stitched up by her aides. The changes in social care funding could potentially become their ' Achilles' calcaneum 'shot by Paris in the Trojan War.
    My mate Simon said ,'she does not have any children and is not qualified to be a PM!'. My take is while it is unfair to dig into personal matters , it is important to understand how our elderlies see their own as well as their children's future. There is a Chinese saying,'when there is a new policy from the top , there will be strategy to counteract from down below.' The threshold of £100,000 after which you have to pay for your social care without a ceiling (the total cost was capped at £75,000 currently, a policy from Cameron in 2013) will simply enforce old people to rethink and sell their properties to cash out and give away anything in excess of £100,000 to their children and relatives. This , of course, can generate uncertainties or even rivalries amongst family members . As GPs long enough in this business, how often did we come across similar stories when our elderly patients die? Ultimately, people would not let the State retrieve this money after death .
    One would wonder why this policy even needed to appear on the manifesto. The answer perhaps goes back to the single objective of winning a majority of seats in House of Commons so as to produce a strong and stable leadership and accordingly, would deliver a 'good' deal on Brexit negotiations. A landslide fallacy can be negated by a landslide victory. So technically, for May , she needs to win back votes from UKIP(relatively easy now) and confiscate those from Labour supporters (and the undecided). Somebody called her the 'Red Tory' and indeed ,her views on the Just About Managing (JAMs) might sound like justice. The truth is she had to succumb to her true colour with no freedom. On Brexit , she had to surrender to the far right brexiters in the government. On domestic issues , she ended up with a row with her Chancellor(rumours suggested he swore down the phone),as there was no alternative to raising tax or national insurance to solve a genuine problem of social care funding. Thanks to Cameron again with his 2015 manifesto.
    On NHS , she dared not use a different health secretary , burying the head in the sand for all the crises on going in the health service . Repeating all the rhetorics used by Cameron is the best she can do. On education , she loves the old Tory ideology of grammar school and clearly drew blood with the ex-education secretary (well entertained by the cat-fight stories about how much their pants and handbags cost!).
    May be , just may be , as Enoch Powell once said ,
    'For all prime ministers , their human flaws are inevitably amplified by the stresses in office , eventually end up as failures.'
    At least,I now do believe Auntie May is not Auntie Thatcher 2.0 , just as Uncle Trump is never Uncle Reagan 2.0.
    ..............................
    Trying to move on with lives after the local election , Labour simply produced a manifesto to 'please' . It is always easier for the oppositions if the ruling government is dogged by all sorts of contradictions. Clearly , the distraction of Brexit is perhaps so far reaching that May and her cabinet are putting more doubts in people's mind.
    But once again , history sticks(especially if people involved in the stories are still alive). Corbyn and McDonnell are both haunted by their old selves . The former cannot shake away from his affiliation with anti-nuclear campaigns and still stuttered on the question whether he would 'press the button ' in life and death crisis . The latter's faith on Marxism(he wanted to call himself socialist now) is questionable. And both were named in a The Telegraph's report(19.5.2017)about M15 opened a file on their links to IRA.
    While the prime minister and her party are willing to continue austerity on public sectors with low taxation , Labour is to open the cheque book with at least higher corporation tax . Typically, the latter wants to swing the pendulum all the way to the left with policies like nationalising the mail , rail and energy firms. Even my mother-in-law would say the answer to these is simply raising the tax. Question is how desperately have these domestic issues deteriorated over the last few years? And , yes, Brexit is once again blocking in the way as far as solutions are concerned.
    Ultimately, it is about the lives of common people. This general election cannot be just about Brexit. In fact , recent surveys suggested the 'fever' amongst voters is dying down .
    Interestingly , even The Economist published a critique on McDonnell's attachment on Marxism(13/5/2017):
    'Labour is right—Karl Marx has a lot to teach today’s politicians' While the author clearly supported a landslide victory of the conservatives,absolute capitalism will harm people and the economy. Quoted from the article:
    ''the number of listed companies has declined at a time when profits are close to their highest levels ever. Concentration is particularly pronounced in the most advanced sectors of the economy ''
    '' Average wages are still below their level before the financial crisis in 2008 and are not expected to exceed it for several years. The rise of the Uber economy threatens to turn millions of people into casual workers who eat only what they can kill.''
    The pay gap between company CEOs and ordinary workers is widening and middle class is on its way to extinction.
    Bottom line is 'do you believe a strong and stable government only for the sake of Brexit will be up for these more essential deep-seated domestic issues?' I don't have the answer.
    Confucius said ' one cannot stand if people do not trust' ,Analects. For modern politics, it is perhaps more about who and what you trust the least .

    PS : one has to excuse my relative lack of attention on Lib Dems and UKIP. The former is struggling with their mission of redemption and atonement as far as the young voters are concerned. The latter , mmmm, internal fightings with actual physical brawl ,only ex-MP went through mutiny twice and a short lady leadership of only 18 days ,tell you all about the virtues

  • BMA to ballot GPs on collectively closing lists

    Vinci Ho's comment 19 May 2017 8:27pm

    I think there is a place of selling this to the public :We are prepared to 'break the law' to protect safe care of our patients, given this lying government and its propaganda media are destroying us with their way of funding general practice and NHS.

  • Tories pledge to guarantee right to remain for NHS staff from EU after Brexit

    Vinci Ho's comment 18 May 2017 2:32pm

    No expectation , no disappointment.
    Well predictable: a strong and stable , die hard Auntie May.
    It is war .....

  • All GPs will go salaried to the detriment of patients, predicts senior GP leader

    Vinci Ho's comment 17 May 2017 6:30pm

    '...they can make ‘much more money by being salaried GPs’.'
    It is about what you can see now but what you cannot see later.
    The fact that there are still partners working in the background with overall shortage, means salaried GPs can potentially earn more.
    When the whole system is replaced by all salaried GPs , everybody has to earn the same accordingly . What will be the price tag slapped on by the government?

  • Green Party pledges to increase general practice funding by 80%

    Vinci Ho's comment 17 May 2017 1:02pm

    From Analects:
    Requisites in government:-- a conversation with Tsze-kung子貢(famous student of Confucius孔子):
    1. Tsze-kung asked about government. Confucius said, "The requisites of government are that there be sufficiency of food, sufficiency of military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler."

    2. Tsze-kung said, "If it cannot be helped, and one of these must be dispensed with, which of the three should be foregone first?" "The military equipment," said Confucius .

    3. Tsze-kung again asked, "If it cannot be helped, and one of the remaining two must be dispensed with, which of them should be foregone?" Confuscius answered, "Part with the food. People died naturally in history but if the people have no faith in their rulers, there is no standing for the state."

    Simply , one cannot stand if people do not trust and believe but in modern politics, I suppose it is about who you trust less......

  • NHS Wales ‘unaffected’ by cyber attack due to strong IT defences

    Vinci Ho's comment 17 May 2017 12:39pm

    If this is true , what does it tell you about the management of the health service in England led by you know whom?
    Wasting time and money in flamboyant, superficial political gimmicks , neglecting the fundamental maintenances and indulging in political confrontations and bullies on health professionals , said it all .
    This cyberattack is apocalyptical ; the Home Secretary had to brief the public for a health service crisis , somebody's career days are perhaps, numbered .
    Nigel , any plan to publish a book called 'The longest serving health secretary (2012-?)' ?

  • Green Party pledges to increase general practice funding by 80%

    Vinci Ho's comment 17 May 2017 11:00am

    I know people would say these pledges are not deliverable. But this is a game of election, one would rather to have oppositions saying things completely different. Whether that really put pressure on the ruling government is debatable. At least , these oppositions are pledging with the arguments we ourselves are defending last few years.
    Unless you are die hard Tory fan , the theme , to me , remains 'anything but Tories(including blanks)'.....

  • Over 500 GPs seek out mental health support service in first four months

    Vinci Ho's comment 16 May 2017 11:00pm

    It is true that the only reason why the whole service is just about to hold is down to the dedications of those on the frontline and the government deserves nothing , nothing at all.
    As Martika sang :
    ''Step by step, heart to heart, left right left
    We all fall down like toy soldiers
    Bit by bit, torn apart, we never win
    But the battle wages on for toy soldiers.''
    Eminem added further:
    ''I'm supposed to be the soldier who never blows his composure
    Even though I hold the weight of the whole world on my shoulders
    I ain't never supposed to show it, my crew ain't supposed to know it.''
    (Somebody in GMC said something similar ).
    The PM said so much about looking after people's mental health but it was her own party which created this chaos .
    As Alanis Morissete sang:
    ''An old man turned ninety-eight
    He won the lottery and died the next day
    It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
    It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
    Isn't it ironic, don't you think''

  • GP leaders warn it will take 'days' for some practices to recover from NHS hack

    Vinci Ho's comment 15 May 2017 7:37pm

    Is it fair to say this cyberattack has epitomised the poor but also uneven distribution and investment of resources in different parts of the country (more so in England)? North East England has been known to struggle with GP recruitment and retention. Health secretary, DoH , NHSE all have questions to answer .....

  • GPs 'doing all they can' for patients in aftermath of NHS malware attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 15 May 2017 1:47pm

    (1) Post mortem examination has started . Yes , the argument ,that NHS Trusts had been warned about the vulnerability and cessation of support from Microsoft back in March this year , appeared to pass the blame onto them. But can this evade the real question that the whole NHS IT systems need better investment?
    (2) What is the responsibility of the health secretary and even the prime minister as far as the role of following up and ensuring the security systems are updated , even though Amber Rudd claimed that the health secretary had 'instructed' NHS Trusts?It boils down to effectiveness of his leadership and communication with NHS personnels. That is the bottom line.
    (3) The whole crisis , interestingly , took place in the 'right' time in the right 'place' as far as political opposition parties are concerned . The fact ,that the PM deliberately asked the Home Secretary to speak to the public on Friday avoiding Hunt's exposure , is politically telling. Now she realises how she had shot herself in the foot by continuing his appointment after she became PM last year.

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 13 May 2017 2:59pm

    So Amber Rudd chaired the Cobra Meeting and said the health secretary had already instructed NHS trusts not to use Windows XP . Hence , the government is innocent.
    What are your thoughts, folks?

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 13 May 2017 9:24am

    Could feel Amber Rudd's voice shaken a little bit in this interview........

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 13 May 2017 9:08am

    So the Home Secretary , Amber Rudd , said this morning in BBC breakfast , these NHS files were 'supposed' to be back-upped and the government's statement is NOT to pay any ransom.
    How are you judge this, folks ?

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 12 May 2017 8:46pm

    Nicola Sturgeon immediately called for a 'resilience' meeting even though the impact in Scotland is much less than England . Auntie May had to remote control in reassuring the public that no patient data had been compromised as she is 'confidently' campaigning in Northern England . Typically , there is no show of Agent Hunt. I would jump to exploit this situation if I was an opposition leader !
    Well , this story of general election is full of twists and turns, isn't it?

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 12 May 2017 8:16pm

    If you are following this fascinating story as more will unfold. The early post mortem examinations appear to associate with the vulnerably weak cyber security in our NHS IT systems . My practice, for instance , is one of the many which is still using Windows XP professional. Verdict from IT experts is merely lack of investment in maintaining and upgrading this security. Yes , this attack might not be specifically targeting NHS but our 'firewalls' are such easy targets to break in the midst of any large scale global cyber attack .
    This is the last thing Auntie May wanted three weeks from the general election she called upon. Trusting Agent Hunt might become a major liability as he was only interested in developing flamboyant, superficial and flawed ideas like NHS smartphone apps , more Skype consultations etc without realising some fundamentals need to be addressed first . Ignorance , arrogance and complacency describe it all .
    Keep an eye on this story , more 'lessons' to learn.

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 12 May 2017 5:22pm

    According to one of my girls(receptionists) early on , she saw the screen kind of 'melting': patient's details on screen reverted back to older entries ; old address replaced latest one!!

  • GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

    Vinci Ho's comment 12 May 2017 4:58pm

    All down
    Can't even order bloods on written forms as that requires NHS numbers
    The other way of thinking , the public knows certainly how 'vulnerable' NHS is and 'somebody' wants to destroy it!

  • GP funding to be boosted under Labour, reveals leaked draft manifesto

    Vinci Ho's comment 11 May 2017 3:06pm

    If there is a political will , there is a political way. Question is what is the political will agreed and chosen by the majority ?