The abc of Lansley’s plan to run away from providing healthcare

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Andrew Lansley had a dire article in the Telegraph yesterday.

Let me summarise it. He said:

a) We want to cut gov't spending.

b) The NHS spends a lot

c) People need more health care

d) We don't want the wealthy to pay for it

e) We have no idea how to achieve this goal

f) So we're going to pass control of the NHS to anyone - GPs, local authorities or private companies - anyone but the Department for Health

g) We will cut their budgets

h) They will find they cannot deliver health care

i) We will pass alaw saying that's not out responsibility

j) People will suffer, but it won't be our fault.

Am I being fair? Yes, I think I am.

The simple fact is that there is no plan in what Lansley is doing. If we really do have an ageing population, rising costs of health care and increasing demand from the over medicalisation of large parts of life which are rightly social problems (anxiety, stress, obesity, and so on are not medical issues: we make them medical issues though), and right now each of these is true then health care costs are going to rise.

What Lansley's plan fails to recognise is that:

a) The demand for these extra resources is real in the case of the elderly and in the case of new procedures;

b) The demand for increased medicalisation of life is fuelled by i) companies with products to sell (pharmaceuticals) ii) companies with products to sell (fatty foods, poor living standards resulting from demands for increased labour productivity etc) iii) companies making demands on government for  increased tax cuts (resulting in reduced benefits, poor living standards, poor educational attainment etc., all resulting in stress - and depression, which is suppressed anger).

But Lansley does not tackle these issues, at all.

All he wants to do is pass the buck to anyone who will have it and ensure he has n responsibility for the resulting mess: remember, his Bill says the government will not longer be responsible for health care in the UK, that duty is passing to local authorities with no budget attached to it.

So what are the inevitable outcomes:

1) Old people without care;

2) People dying when prevention was possible;

3) Demand on the NHS rising as resources to meet it collpase;

4) A massive health failure.

That's the inevitable outocme of what Lansley is doing. That's the result of refusing to meet demand, and instead passing the buck.

This is not government. This is massively irresponsible demail of the truth: we need to spend more. That can only come from tax. And the NHS, a state run NHS, is the only efficient a to deliver these services: we do not have the resources to duplicate services: we hardly have the rsources to do these things once.

Lansley ducks all this. That's why his Bill needs to be scrapped.


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