Hague’s council leader warns of “NHS-free zone” in North Yorkshire

The leader of the council in William Hague’s constituency, a former Conservative, has warned that health cuts in North Yorkshire may result in “an NHS-free zone”, devastating healthcare provision across the county,

Cllr John Blackie, who both leads the council and sits as deputy on the county council’s health scrutiny committee, said that as a result of NHS cuts:

“We are now facing a nightmare scenario. If we are not careful, in North Yorkshire we might end up as an NHS-free zone.”

Cuts in the area have made headlines before, as Hague joined a local anti-cuts protest back in May – despite having publicly supported the government’s Health & Social Care Bill into law. The coalition are requiring the health service to make £4.5bn of “efficiency” savings by 2015, a situation which isn’t helping the local trust deal with a £24m deficit whilst trying to deliver services.

Was this what David Cameron meant when he told the Tory Party conference “this is the party of the NHS” on Wednesday?

4 Comments

  1. end PFI says:

    The banks are behind this, maybe you could do an article on how they own the PFI, they bought it and now they are destroying the health service by forcing hospitals to service the PFI. Some of these schemes last 30 years, so in the endm the hospital will have been privitised and we will still be paying for the damn thing. And then we will have to pay to use it!!

    They have got us coming and going.

  2. Ian Blackburn says:

    It is not just North Yorkshire, here in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire they are contemplating shutting one of the three hospitals held by that trust. Our MP for Goole, a Tory justifies the possibility of Virgin taking over as still under the NHS. He can not see that when the NHS spend money with companies like Virgin, some of it has to be made profit and some to the shareholders, thats money not direct to patient care. With MPs like that what chance has the NHS got? Profit or care. there can never be both at once.

  3. susanna says:

    A Tribal document called “Liberating the NHS: the next turn of the cork-screw” is on the NHS Alliance website at:

    http://www.nhsalliance.org/fileadmin/files/pdf/Tribal%20Analysis%209.pdf

    “Such a wide-scale adoption of a social enterprise model is without precedent in the British public sector and would in effect be denationalisation through mutualisation. Presumably the creation of employee controlled organisations as not-for-profit, independent, autonomous providers, would have the added attraction of moving these organisations off the government’s balance sheet.
    “This radical proposal, which could see the transfer of billions of tax-payers’ assets to employee controlled businesses, would indeed be a revolution…
    “…. The major opportunity for the private sector would come if and when current NHS incumbents fail to make the transition to the new regime. Under those circumstances the Government might well expect, if not invite, the private sector to step in
    “… This is a bold White Paper, even if it contains a great deal that Milburn and Blair would have introduced, if only they had had the courage, and so therefore represents yet another turn in the cork screw of healthcare policy. The vision offered is beguiling and logically coherent.”

    An article, published by The Monthly Review, an independent socialist magazine based in the US explains why the government is so attracted to Managed Care Organisations [MCO] like Kaiser Permanente and wants to turn the NHS into an MCO. This started twenty years ago. The article says that the process is “a silent one” in order to reduce political conflict over these changes and that decisions are made without actually informing the rest of government – “the legislature” – that explains why government kept so quiet over this, becuase those doing this knew it would cause a riot:

    URL: http://monthlyreview.org/2000/05/01/how-the-united-states-exports-managed-care-to-third-worldcountries

    Monthly Review 2000. Vol 52, Issue 01 (May).
    “How the United States Exports Managed Care to Third-World Countries”
    Howard Waitzkin and Celia Iriart

    “In the widely debated 1993 World Development Report, entitled Invest In Health, the World Bank argued that inefficiencies of public-sector programs hindered the delivery of services as well as the reduction of poverty.3 This report advocated incentives for private insurance, privatization of public services, promotion of market competition, and emphasis on primary care and prevention. Through this document and subsequent policies, according to Latin American critics, the World Bank has promulgated an ideology that “health is a private matter and health care a private good.”4

    “Specifically, the World Bank has supported managed-care initiatives that convert public healthcare institutions and social security funds to private management and/or ownership. These initiatives entail new loans and thus increased foreign debt for participating countries. Access to capital held by public-sector social security funds has become an important incentive for investment by multinational corporations….

    “As proprietary managed plans grow in the United States, the rate of profit predictably begins to fall as the market becomes increasingly saturated. As this process occurs, corporations must develop strategies to increase their profits. These strategies might include raising the productivity of labor, diversifying into new product lines, and searching for new markets. As the president of the Academy for International Health Studies noted in 1996, “By the year 2000, it is estimated [that] 80% of the total U.S. population will be insured by some sort of Managed Care Organisation [MCO]. Since 70% of all American MCOs are for-profit enterprises, new markets are needed to sustain growth and return on investment.” ….

    “Managed-care reforms usually produce fundamental changes in clinical practice. These changes involve the subordination of health professionals to an administrative-financial logic. The same reform proposals aim for a drastic reduction of independent professional practice, since professionals have to offer their services to insurance companies or the proprietors of large medical centers.

    “The political process that accompanies these reforms is usually a silent one, restricted to the executive branch of government. This process generally segments the policy-making process and therefore reduces political conflict. The desire to achieve silent policy-making was expressed as an explicit decision by such informants as an official of the World Bank’s delegation in Argentina and a high official of the Ministry of Health and Social Action of that country. Reform policies are directed sequentially toward the public sector, the private sector, or the social security system, but they do not adopt a unified approach to the healthcare system as a whole. In general, policy implementation bypasses discussion in the legislative branch.

    “At each stage of this silent political process, the actors involved are only those who participate in each subsector (public, private, or medical social security); this approach hinders a societal perspective on reform. Within each subsector, participants try to accommodate the reform processes, without recognizing the impact on other subsectors. Nevertheless, the current reform processes actually achieve a profound articulation of the three subsectors (not achieved previously in most Latin American countries, despite a long-expressed need for this articulation), but under the command of private interests and especially of multinational finance capital.”

    This is asset-stripping – or equity stripping – the NHS, to sell it back to us.

  4. Steven Andrew says:

    The people of N Yorks can stop this if they want so the area doesn’t become NHS free, but they will still vote for a donkey with a blue rosette on.

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