Friday, 28 April 2017

Campaigning on the NHS, again

So, in an election where the vast majority of the MP's in the Labour Party do not believe in their leader and they have also decided not have no real position on Brexit - what can Labour do...

They can bloody well campaign to save the NHS!

After all, the Tories are going to close the NHS within 24 hours of getting back into power, all nurses will be fired and your gran euthanased to save money, personally, by Prime Minister May and Jeremy Hunt.

This amazing strategy I fear has had limited electoral success, after all this will be the 3rd election in a row that Labour fight almost solely on the NHS and the third in a row they will lose.

Sadly, there is a lot of collateral damage caused by this strategy.

- First of all it embeds in sections of the public the religion of the NHS.
- Secondly it embeds the idea of constant crisis and need for ever more funding.
- Thirdly it makes any non-Labour party forget about major reforms of any sort as they know this will be used against them in spades for ever after.

Fearing  the tag of the nasty party, the Tories say as little about the NHS as possible in any election, it is their weakest ground. I would not be surprised if Jeremy Hunt was sent on a fact finding mission about the obesity crisis in Pitcairn over the next few weeks.

Actually though, in a parallel universe, this election where the Tories will win at a canter, should be the one where they try to speak some sense for the first time....

1. There is not enough money now that new treatments are available and the population is aging. Also, holding down pay was a temporary solution but won't work ad infinitum.
2. We therefore need to both reduce services and increase funding to ensure a stable Health Service.
3. Non-essential services, even tough choices like IVF, become contributory
4. Stupidity - ie admission to A&E blind drunk or with a sports - also result in a bill (O, let's call it what it is, a Fine).
5. All cancers and serious illness to remain free.
6. Health Insurance to be removed as a taxable benefit, to encourage its use by those that can afford private care anyway.
7. Web based doctors assessments to become standard entry point prior to seeing a GP.

Points 2-7  above would result in massive cost savings, none of them involve any sort of dreaded 'Privatisation' and all I predict will be done in the next 10 years anyway - better to be in the front foot. There is no reason Labour have to win on this topic, after all the health service under them was only better because they threw borrowed money at it for a few years and broke the country.


Electro-Kevin said...

To that list:

8. All foreigners boarding transport for Britain must have valid health insurance.

9. No boob jobs, gender re-assignments, cosmetic surgery other than for serious disfigurement.

dearieme said...

I presume it's still true that ever since the NHS was founded every government, of whatever party, has increased spending on it every year in real terms. With one exception: the Labour government of the late seventies. Add to which: it was a Labour government that introduced prescription charges and charges for glasses. It was a Labour government that undermined the dental part of the NHS.

How long would it take to hammer these points into the head of the population if Conservatives just repeated them every time they are asked about the NHS? Just keep saying it until the whole ruddy electorate has got the message. Then say it some more.

Nomad said...

Fat people. No gastric bands or alike. A shocking waste of money. Eat less, problem solved. This will also have the benefit of reducing expenditure on mobility scooters, blood pressure treatments, vascular care, cardio care and treatments etc etc.

CityUnslicker said...

Nomad - you do demonstrate the slippery slope which allows for state inspired political correctness to creep in.

Nonetheless, I would start at the other end of the telescope, defining what is in scope rather than out - that way PC looniness can be avoided to affect the same result.

Nick Drew said...

Kev - your point 9 is horribly ambiguous, I laughed out loud

(shame on me: schoolboy humour at my age)

Scan said...

Does #4 include daft women from Scotland who go to an Ebola outbreak in sub-Saharan Africa (knowing the risks), come back with Ebola, don't tell anyone about it and end up costing everyone a fortune?

If so, who decides who's been too stupid to deserve treatment?

So long as paying for the NHS is compulsory you can't introduce #4. The point of paying for the NHS is that it's your health insurance if something happens. If you want to bring in conditions then you have to bring in actual contracts, and that would lead to people telling the NHS to sod off.

Otherwise it's subjective and it's dive into them making excuses not to treat anyone, and they're pretty good at doing that already.

As the Adam Smith Institute recently said: The NHS should be fit for us, not we being fit for the NHS.

Steven_L said...

De-regulate the medical profession, remove protectionisms, promote specialisms.

E.g. does one really need to go all the way through med school to learn how to perform cataract operations?

And don't stop with the doctors, declare war on the lawyers and the accountants too.

Who will they all vote for if they don't like it? Corbyn? Will the ordinary consumer like it? You bet they will.

Dick the Prick said...

10 - terminate NHS Digital (Connecting for Health) with immediate effect.

andrew said...


Fat People - no diabetes treatments etc for you.
Eat more - reduce the Pensions timebomb - problem solved!

moving on:

11 - Become like the spartans - put all newborn outside overnight
12 - Legalise assisted suicide

People cost the use the NHS at the beginning and end of life
- so lets save the NHS creatively and cost effectively by culling the young and old

I intend to pitch a new reality TV series to C4 - 'Granny Hunters' later this year if labour win

(*) For clarity, none of the above are a good idea and to avoid any accusation of sexism 'Stopping Grandfather's Clock' will be pitched to BBC4, I can see V Coren-Mitchell hosting that

CityUnslicker said...

ND - it is Friday after all!

Scan - what is wrong with a contract? How does unemployment benefit work for example - you claim where you can. NHS is insurance, the only question we have not is what level of cover it affords for the price we are paying.

The Tories, IMHO (and I am still not voting Tory for the doubters out there), have a once in a generation opportunity to get some real shit on the table and into their manifesto. They can't lose to Corbyn, he will lose to himself under any circumstances.

The Tories would be mad to throw this opportunity away as Blair did in 97 and 01

Scan said...

CU, nothing wrong with a contract; that's how it should be - and I'm a fan of the voucher system, a la Friedman. But it has to be a contract that states what services I'm going to receive and under what what conditions, and a contract that also allows me to say "No thanks. I'll take my money elsewhere". Otherwise - what's been suggested here - it's a protection racket where you MUST pay for something and expect a service, only to be told they've arbitrarily decided not to give you it after all.

Anonymous said...

it's a protection racket where you MUST pay for something and expect a service, only to be told they've arbitrarily decided not to give you it after all.

Same goes for pensions - try the Australian model - and for "benefits"

Strangely "benefits" were set up correctly as an insurance based model only to be hijacked by various governments for their own ends. Go back to the original idea for both and the system should work. You can have pensions/benefits for all but insurance based.

Government can then sweep up/pay for those that fall outside the system but the numbers should be minimal. Also takes care of those that come into the system later on in their lives a.k.a migrants (economic or otherwise)

Electro-Kevin said...

Nick - Removing gender ops would mitigate the chances of any cock-ups.

Anonymous said...

All sounds sensible to me but have some reservations on
No. 7 Web based doctors.
I've tried doctor Google a few times and constantly surprised that I am still alive.

CityUnslicker said...

Anon - a pal of mine runs a web-based service, cheap as chips and happily signed up by Bupa, Aviva Health etc. Saves the need to doctors onsite or indeed in the country....

Lilith said...

Our hospital sold off all their properties in the 90s that used to house visiting consultants,nurses,trainees. However, they kept the housing Department and all its staff. As far as I know they still have 3 managers and a managerial assistant. The same hospital that only has two qualified lab techs so they can't take a holiday or the lab shuts down.

Lilith said...

Our local hospital is a charity for ENORMOUS (mostly)women to enable them to wear a uniform (pale blue, watch pinned to chest)and complain to each other about how difficult patients and their families are.

Lord Blagger said...

There is not enough money now that new treatments are available and the population is aging.

People are healthier for longer. They don't so much NHS treatment and its spread out over a long time. The cost per year comes down.

The real problem is millions of low paid migrants who use the NHS, but do not pay sufficent tax to cover the state costs of them being in the UK.
Min wage migrants like Brits are net consumers

We therefore need to both reduce services and increase funding to ensure a stable Health Service.

The defintion of Austerity. More tax, less services.

Suff said...

Scrap the current quality gauge "hospital waiting time".Thet defer putting you on the list for an obvious operation by sending you on a Dantes inferno of never ending consultations with various quacks.. Besides shortening the waiting list, I'm sure it's done to drive sufferers to private care

Electro-Kevin said...

Lilith - It would do them better to have the pin pinned IN the chest ... or some other nerve related meridian.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Broadly agreed with you list 1 to 7, seems sensible enough.

patently said...

I'd query the assumption that the health service was better under the previous Labour government.

Maybe it was in Labour areas, I wouldn't know. But the only change I noticed at our local hospital was a big building and refurbishment programme to make the A&E and maternity wards look pretty again - just in time for them to be closed and all the urgent services centralised at the main County hospital that is a 30 minute drive away in clear traffic (which it never is...).

So Labour's changes to the NHS mean we are now 5 minutes away from all the non-urgent services and 30-60 minutes away from the urgent care provision. I'm sure that makes sense to someone, and would love to meet him one day.