by British Awakening – 26 Oct 2017
In 1883 Germany introduced the Sickness Insurance Law, the first system designed to provide healthcare to the general population. The UK followed suit in 1911 with the National Insurance Act which provided a level of healthcare to wage earners. Healthcare provision in the UK was famously extended when the National Health Service was launched in July 1948, the first comprehensive system in the world, many commentators observing that this was a reward to the working class for the sacrifices they had made during the Second World War. Many Western European countries followed suit and within a few decades most developed nations in the world had introduced a system of universal healthcare.
In Europe healthcare is funded by a mixture of public and private contributions, some such as the Netherlands rely on compulsory insurance and a form of risk pool between insurers to ensure that everyone, whatever the state of their health is provided insurance. The system in the Netherlands also ensures that there is no financial advantage in providing insurance solely to healthy people since the levy to the risk pool becomes that much greater. The UK funds the health service via a single payer method, i.e. the State is the only source of funding.
Systems of healthcare and the methods of funding them are complex subjects and way beyond my level of knowledge to add anything useful to the debate. However I do feel that the single payer method is beginning to lead the NHS astray from what it was set up to do and to lead it down the same dark path the BBC has decided to follow. For clarity my concerns are about the NHS as an organisation and not the Doctors (mainly), Nurses, Paramedics and Porters nor the cleaners, the administrators and other support staff that get out of bed every day to provide healthcare to the nation. The rot as I see it is at the top amongst the politicians, senior managers and civil servants.
You may recall a few weeks back Theresa May announced proposed changes to the way organs are to be obtained in the future. The current system for most people in the UK is that donors register their willingness for their organs to be used in the event of their deaths. To my mind this is a fine thing to do and I would encourage everyone to register, providing the gift of life to another even when you have passed has a heroic quality to it, we are all familiar with some of the wonderful stories of how this act has provided a level of comfort to grieving families. Theresa May has however proposed to change the way this system works from an opt in method to an opt out one. In other words your organs can be harvested unless you specifically say no. Now I have ethical concerns about this, your body belongs to your loved ones, not to the State. The State has no right to do this, it is an infringement into an area where the State and its agent in this instance, the NHS has any business.
There are of course arguments that this will save more lives, possibly - but so would allowing people to sell a kidney and I do not think that is an ethical thing to do either. In any case after the scandal at Alder Hay hospital where the unauthorised removal, retention and disposal of children's organs was widespread I would certainly not trust the NHS with this kind of power.
In the same period the NHS has decided to dabble in identity politics by gathering data on the sexual preferences of patients - whether this is relevant or not. Now clearly in conversations between a GP and a patient this may be highly relevant but come on, I recently trashed my elbow playing cricket, what difference to the outcome would it make to find out if I liked the Scissor Sisters and adored Barbara Streisand? I struggle to understand why the NHS feels it needs this information in most cases - other than to play a bit of identity politics and, well, to be a bit creepy if you ask me. In any case my reading of the Data Protection Act is that there are very clear limits on how you gather personal data and you have to be very clear about why you need this information.
More widely I have noticed a more bullying, overbearing tone coming from the NHS, threats to withdraw treatment from people that are obese or smoke are increasing. Now pardon me I thought the role of the NHS was to provide healthcare, that is its purpose, where did it acquire the right to intimidate people? Who gave it this power? I don't remember any political party offering to give it that authority in an election manifesto. Yet gradually over the years we have seen the NHS wade into the political arena to push its own dogma, the main mantras being:
The sanctimonious bullying is now filtering down the organisation, Rachel Clarke, an NHS Doctor felt that she had the authority from the taxpayer to make dark threats to a journalist (Katie Hopkins) via Twitter.
Rachel Clarke (@doctor_oxford) 15/10/2017, 18:22
One day, Katie, you will wind up in an NHS A&E, and we will treat you as well as we can, without hesitation, as we do all bigots & haters.
FYI Rachel you are paid by the taxpayer to treat people you don't get to choose who, period, shut up and do your job.
The creeping politicisation of the NHS, the intrusion into our private lives and the adoption of the poison of identity politics is in danger of turning the NHS into another BBC. A once trusted and fairly benign organisation is turning into a dark, sinister omnipresent shadow over our lives. Sadly I fear my concerns and those of millions of others will not be heard and the NHS will go the same way as the BBC, and become a hated tool of the State.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.