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Headline

Revealed: spiralling cost of seven-day GP access

Comment

I think even Mr Smith or Jones will understand that this 'investment' on seven days GP access is no new money. The House of Commons health committee clearly identified the claim of £10 billions going into NHS was entirely 'inaccurate'(I tried to avoid using the word 'hoax'). These pilots should be renamed as propaganda instead .And the money is unlimited for propaganda e.g. US presidential campaigns , Chinese government's so called maintenance of stability . Of course , these 'pilots' are comparatively peanuts but important for the Tories to 'win the public over'. One would really like to see the breakdown of how all the money was spent in NHS and more importantly where have all the efficiency savings gone ? I think we all know it does not add up as proclaimed by the government . The latest news is statement from Academy of Royal Colleges to draw up a list of investigations and treatments that will be discouraged on NHS: 'Doctors name treatments that bring little or no benefit - BBC News'. This is fundamentally sound in terms of controlling demands and saving resources but my concern is always about educating the public with the right message and this task should be led by a responsible government . Do we have faith? But I suppose the government can still please the public by giving them back something called 7 days GP opening in return of this . Call me sinister ! 'Things are clearly not what they seem' as we always say. It is difficult to fathom how downwards this situation of NHS had gone without re-visiting what the 'still new' PM said in her party conference several weeks ago : '''.......Like the NHS – one of the finest health care systems anywhere in the world, and a vital national institution.  An institution that reflects our values, our belief in fairness, and in which we all take enormous pride.    And I mean all.  Because there is complete cross-party support for the NHS.   For its status as a provider of free-at-the-point-of-use health care. For the thousands of doctors and nurses that work around the clock to care for their patients.   We all have a story about the nurse who cared for a loved one, or a surgeon who saved the life of a friend.   So let us take this opportunity to say to those doctors and nurses – thank you.  The NHS should unite us. But year after year, election after election, Labour try to use it to divide us.    At every election since it was established, Labour have said the Tories would cut the NHS - and every time we have spent more on it.   Every election, they say we want to privatise the NHS - and every time we have protected it.   In fact, the party that expanded the use of the private sector in the NHS the fastest was not this party, but the Labour Party.   The only party to ever cut spending on the NHS is not this party, but the Labour Party – that’s what they did in Wales.  And at the last election, it wasn’t the Labour Party that pledged to give the NHS the money it asked for to meet its five-year plan – it was this party, the Conservative Party investing an extra £10 billion in the NHS – more than its leaders asked for and this year more patients are being treated, and more operations are being carried out, by more doctors and more nurses than ever before.  That’s a tribute to everyone who works in the NHS.  But also to one man – Jeremy Hunt – who is one of the most passionate advocates for patients and for the doctors, nurses and others who work in our health service that I have ever known.  So let’s have no more of Labour’s absurd belief that they have a monopoly on compassion.   Let’s put an end to their sanctimonious pretence of moral superiority.   Let’s make clear that they have given up the right to call themselves the party of the NHS, the party of the workers, the party of public servants.   They gave up that right when they adopted the politics of division. When their extreme ideological fixations led them to simply stop listening to the country.  When they abandoned the centre ground.  And let us take this opportunity to show that we, the Conservative Party, truly are the party of the workers…  the party of public servants…  the party of the NHS.......'' While she clearly took the opportunity to steal some good points from the leftists, she wasted no time to ridicule their pitfalls with swift aloofness. The Tory would be the 'nasty party' no more(the term she created while her party was in political wilderness those years) . And her party would be the party of the NHS etc. My verdict is ,simply , she needed this speech more than anybody else because she knew the reality was to bite her back very quickly . After all ,as I said above, politics is about winning the public over. But politics is also about winning over your colleagues .That is exactly where her honeymoon of premiership rapidly coming to the end of its lifespan . A godfather would always love his loyal lieutenants and try to wipe out the 'rats' . Trouble for Auntie right now is who are the lieutenants , who are the rats? (Superficially , one can see three rats already running around with one only wanted to be the PM in the first place).The complication comes from Brexit and had caused distractions on everything. Fundamentally, one has to question the PM seriously ,deep down, which way is she swinging or is she just an opportunist setting a target of being Thatcher 2.0? Friends or foes in her cabinet?The seat of the PM has never been more uncomfortable . One thing quite evident is she in the process of going separate way with her presumed closest lieutenant, the Chancellor , who is her first-class honour university alumnus. If immigration is the core of argument for Brexit , the economy is the counterpart for staying in European single market . One cannot have it all . The official dialogues about Brexit from these two so far had been contradictory , PM on immigration zone and the Chancellor on the economy. For us , the ideology of 'interim workforce' , the four year sentence of going nowhere for medical students after graduation and the eventually self-sufficient condition using only UK grown medical staff , see its daylight under the PM's version of 'hard Brexit'. Let's be honest , it is probably right to say : No Brexit , No May as the PM. But this put the Chancellor in the most embarrassing position and deep down, he really did not want this headache of leaving EU. The value of pound had gone as expected and history told us currency depreciation is not instantaneously disastrous and I can understand why Mervin King's immediate comment was a welcoming one. But the question is 'what 's next?'. The mentality of the government is somehow it could still 'convince' the EU for agreeing something like a happy medium as well as striking good deals with other countries, China, US etc. But the current failure of striking a trade deal between EU and Canadian government tells you about the reality. The irony is probably half of those who had voted to leave EU still want to stay in the single market . The 'deadline' as the story goes , is destined on 1st April next year when the PM , as announced, will invoke article 50. As many economists suggested , the solution to this mess appeared to be a Keynesian approach : the government has to exert more fiscal power as the Bank of England had already done what it could do in quantitative easing . This entails more infrastructure investment etc. and it means more borrowing and more ruthless savings from somewhere.It is impossible to reach a surplus by 2020 which was the obsession as well as bargaining chip to be the next PM as far as the ex-Chancellor was concerned.In effect, this situation was a good slap on his face but obviously the circumstances are completely new now. However, that also has ridiculed the infamous £350 millions to be injected into NHS weekly . Instead , we have STP(sustainability and transformation plan) on our plate . While globalisation has been widely condemned for the economic mess we are in,big establishment(e.g.UK)wants to break away from massive one(e.g.EU),small(e.g. Scotland )away from big one and smaller from small one and it goes on.The irony is we ,GPs, are queuing up for super or mega-practices .All the evidences and many feedbacks from NHS executives had suggested STP would be mission impossible . The whole ideology boils down from the top pushing for less hospital beds or even hospital closures , poorly thought-through transfer of workload from secondary to primary care with questionable funding , rationing through the back-door but the most stifling part is perhaps this interim workforce and eventual self sufficiency serving the PM's agenda of pleasing the school of immigration control . Yes, the honeymoon is certainly over as soon as both the PM and Chancellor told Simon Stevens in private conversation that there was no extra money into NHS and one could only see half of the £10 billions supposed to go into NHS by 2020 , according to the health committee of the House of Commons. In fact , one would wonder whether Simon would be still in position if he insisted to implement his five year forward plans(NHS and GP) . I was reading a very interesting article on The Economist about why Hillary Clinton has been so unpopular even though Trump's reputation is going down the drain: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21709053-americas-probable-next-president-deeply-reviled-why-hating-hillary Its conclusion was largely down to sexism . I can understand the reasons why May wanting to be Thatcher 2.0 while you are sitting in a cabinet with a lot testosterone flying around and fundamentally your party is a right winged one. But who is to be mattering the most , your colleagues, hence , party OR the country ?

Posted date

24 Oct 2016

Posted time

12:39pm

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