Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Ideologically driven failed policy - the White Paper

Dr Grumble has beaten me to it, this excellent article which neatly summarises exactly what the government's NHS white paper actually means is absolutely essential reading:

"Behind the technicalities, what do the government’s plans for the NHS really mean? Stewart Player and Colin Leys expose the reality of the health service white paper......"

Those who read this blog regularly will understand it well. The ideology behind it is so deeply flawed. The white paper just continues the same old flawed policy which the previous Labour government inflicted upon the unsuspecting public.

The introduction of pseudo-competition and the market has been shown to fail before, private firms invariably only do the easy work for a nice tidy profit, the left over work which is much less profitable and a lot trickier is left to the public sector, a public sector which I may add is being dismantled, it is so much harder for hospitals to work effectively when they lose essential working chunks of their arms and legs, as they are sold off to private firms. Commissioning is at the centre of this wasteful reform, a process which oversees the pseudo market and results in a hell of a lot of expensive and inefficient bureaucracy.

Critics of the article's authors, Leys and Player, love to simply claim that their writing is ideologically driven nonsense. The great irony in this is that the actual reform, the white paper itself, is ideologically driven nonsense. There is no decent evidence that any aspect of these reforms will spend tax payer's money more effectively in delivering health care, thus to criticise the white paper's critics for being ideologically driven is nonsensical, the white paper is evidence free, it is hot air, actually there is a lot of decent evidence which shows that various white paper policies have failed time and time again in the past. ISTCs, PBC, PFI, Choose and Book et cetera have been shown to be an ideological bonfire of tax payer's cash, there is no decent argument or evidence which says that the new white paper will be anything but more of the same needless incineration of tax payer's cash.

3 comments:

drphilyerboots said...

I always find it frustrating as a scientist, the lack of understanding of scientific method by politicians. None of the White paper is evidence based, trialed in an objective way or the results interpreted by peer review. It's no wonder that the country is a mess when this happens. If I practiced medicine in such a way I would still be bleeding to cure a case of surfeit of black bile!

Politicians are willfully ignorant as they are mostly lawyers, and therefore interested in winning rather than the truth.

But patients and doctors will still be there at the end of the day, so best to make the best of it we can.

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