Today Sunday 6th January, is the Feast of Kings or the Epiphany, traditionally celebrating when rich kings brought gifts for the new-born child. Far richer men and women are coming to Liverpool tomorrow to announce the next ten-year national spending round on the NHS. There is little to celebrate in it, indeed it is conscious cruelty and rudeness. The great wealth of this country, massively more than biblical kings, could and should, give so much more. The money cited represents less than half of what is needed.
The national management of the NHS, and government since the health and social care act, have done great harm.
The policy of reducing beds has been disastrous.
Decisions on the level of funding have been catastrophic.
Decisions on the numbers of doctors trained, recruited and retained have been way short of what’s necessary.
Abolishing bursaries for midwives and nurses was dreadful and will damage health care for years.
Using PFI to build hospitals wasted vast sums of money, transferring public wealth to private hands for no eventual benefit to the NHS. Liverpool’s Royal is just one of the many problems it caused.
Spending huge sums of money on major public projects like building multimillion hospitals but not over seeing them or supervising them well is a wicked waste of money.
Paying staff poorly and over working them is bad for staff, bad for patients, very bad management, and bad value for money.
Employing big accountancy firms has not been value for money for the NHS but has given money we pay in tax to make them richer still.
Rationing care by restricting treatments and delaying operations is causing pain suffering and in the long-term greater cost to the NHS.
Giving private companies vast numbers of contracts to provide care is wasteful and ineffective again siphoning off the money we pay to private profit.
Parceling up the NHS into packages small enough to be commodities in a free trade deal with Trump et al is an absolute betrayal.
Health care spending pays back three times in benefit to the economy and far more in terms of health and happiness. The amounts announced today are half of what is needed spent.
The NHS is our inheritance from the generation that defeated Hitler, it has been a continuous 70 year long investment in public well-being. This huge public wealth is being taken from us.
Liverpool has suffered badly from this NHS regime. There has to be change, reverting to a publicly provided universal and comprehensive health care system.