Thursday, 27 December 2007

The antidemocratic decimation begins

It's not been the most clever, subtle or brilliant plan of the Department of Health's; however their resident incompetents have shown yet again that they care not for quality of service or for what people really want. Large surveys costing millions have shown time and time again that people just want good local services, and that the majority of people are very happy with their GP services. There is undoubtedly a problem in poorer areas, a problem that has been made worse by the new GP contract which makes it impossible for GPs working in poorer areas to earn as much as those in richer areas, thus further disincentivising GPs moving to these poorer areas. The DoH's tick box QOF medicine has done the exact opposite of what was intended, it has catalysed more inequality and wasted a lot of money on paperwork.

The Department of Health is now railroading through plans to privatise primary care, this is despite a groundswell of public opinion against such moves, and a rather lack of a transparent consultation process:

"Doctors have
accused the government of trying to privatise general practice after it
published guidance about setting up new practices in England.

Ministers have ordered health chiefs to create 100 GP
surgeries and 150 super-surgeries known as polyclinics.

The British Medical Association said the guidance works
against existing GPs from bidding for the contracts, leaving the field open for
private firms. "

The polyclinic is an appalling idea. It will mean those in deprived areas having to travel much much further to reach their local services, and one must remember that it is not easy for the sickest and frailest in society to travel the extra miles. So much for 'local' services, the polyclinic represents the worst of both worlds; not big enough to safely do what a hospital can do, but centralised enough to be a massive inconvenience to patients.

The Department of Health has no idea of business or medicine, thus when it tries to combine its thinking on the two, the end result resembles horse manure. The private sector is given a massively unfair advantage whenever it is involved, thus meaning that any gains of competition are lost immediately. Service will be sacrificed at the expense of profit, while the Department of Health conveniently forgets to audit or regulate the new private providers. We have seen in the past how negligently the DoH has been in helping the private sector to our money, whether it be in the form of the pitiful Walk in Centres or the ludicrously expensive ISTCs.

It is indeed a new year, however we still have the same bunch of corrupt incompetents in charge of the Department of Health. If these idiots worked for a business then they would have driven it bankrupt long ago, but alas they work for the state and this government seems to reward their incompetence with special favours. Their record of mismanagement spoke for itself in 2007, and I'm sure they will plumb new depths in 2008. Well done DoH, you truly are an example of how badly wrong top down state controlled ventures can go.

1 comment:

dreamingspire said...

Yes, we want good local services. I'm lucky: we now have that here in the NHS. But don't let anyone (e.g. the new LD man) persuade you that more local democracy will make things better: voters can only choose between what they are offered, so we need to find again a universal way to improve what's offered. Things in medecine got better here because individual practitioners and managers decided that they had to do better.