February 19, 2018


The real costs of NHS contracting out -

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Magic Money Tree -

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Housing Wonderland by Ian Lewis -

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Will STPs finally wreck the NHS? -

Sunday, June 18, 2017

STPs – A new way to wreck the NHS -

Friday, February 17, 2017

Warning: The EU can seriously damage your health!!

A  Martian spaceship is returning to Mars when the ship’s doctor tells the Captain that a crew member is very ill and will not make it back to Mars.
“What’s the nearest planet?” he asks the captain.
“Earth, where do you want to land?”
“I’ll let you know in a few minutes.” said the doctor as he googled “best health services on planet Earth” from a keyboard on the back of his hand.
He was soon on the website the Commonwealth Fund(1) and quickly saw a chart comparing the health services in the 11 richest countries on Earth. The best was clearly the UK and the worst was the US but he also noticed that the health expenditure per person was highest for the US, nearly three times the cost in the UK.
If the UK remains in the EU and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) goes ahead, which is likely, then the public sector will be open to competition from the private sector. The NHS will have to put contracts out to tender and if the private sector company is not happy with the award of a contract it will be able to sue not just for their costs but also for the hypothetical loss of profits. Additionally, the cases will not be heard in a British court but in a court of competition lawyers with no right of appeal under a process known as Investor States Dispute Settlement (ISDS)
The reality is that the NHS will remain in name only. It will be given away and become far more expensive, with a commensurate reduction in quality: it will be like the US health service today.
In a few years’ time the NHS is likely to be offering patients a very basic health service if they cannot afford to buy expensive private health insurance. Like the US the most likely cause of individual bankruptcy will be health bills as often the insurance does not cover the full cost of complicated health treatment.
If a future UK government wanted to reverse this and resuscitate the NHS it would not be allowed in the opinion of Michael Bowsher QC(2). Bowsher is one of Britain’s foremost QCs on European (EU) law and is a former chair of the Bar Council’s EU law committee. His opinion is that TTIP would ‘give investors legal rights which go beyond both UK and EU law.’ He goes on to point out that the UK government could have the NHS ‘excluded from the agreement by way of a blanket exception contained within the main text of TTIP.’
Unfortunately, the current UK government is not prepared to do this and the only other alternative for keeping the NHS as we know it is to vote to leave the EU on 23rd June.
Michael Gold,

1 http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/fund-report/2014/jun/1755_davis_mirror_mirror_2014_exec_summ.pdf
2 http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/feb/22/ttip-deal-real-serious-risk-nhs-leading-qc


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