A Frozen PT Has Time to Think
Many of you may have read that England has ground to a halt. For a rare change, my town is the least affected by this snowstorm. The roads are icy and a challenge but we're still out seeing our patients every day. The rest of the country is not doing so good. The major airports are still closed, the trains are barely squeaking by and the roads near London are impassable.
It gives one time to think and reflect upon the changes coming to health care here. It has taken me nearly a year to learn about the NHS and who is responsible for what and is governed by whom. And now it is all changing. The BBC has an excellent summary of what is going to happen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10552720
Essentially, the government is allowing general practitioners to handle all the funding. They are the only health providers not employed by the NHS but still paid by them. They will also be able to charge higher fees now. Hmmm, not sounding so good, I think. They will determine the need for hospitals, outpatient and community-based care and will commission for those services. Does anyone else hear conflict of interest here?
The word on the street is that the Tories are effectively trying to close the NHS. In the link above you'll read that this isn't the first time it has happened. Thatcher tried the same thing in the 1980s without following through. David Cameron, "I will cut the deficit, not the NHS," seems to have a more thorough approach to holding the pillow over the face of the NHS.
The British people still complain about the NHS. They don't know how good they have it. The current government is banking on that. I'm willing to bet that in five years, the NHS as we know it may not exist. I wonder how I'll be working when that time comes.
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza and Happy Festivus (for the rest of us).