Tag Archives: NHS

Why is the Telegraph helping Labour get elected?

Lyall Duff thought he’d made his Facebook profile private. The lesson everyone should take from the Telegraph’s “investigative journalism” – finding a few ranty sweary posts and quoting or partially quoting them – is that Facebook is never reliably private.

The SNP have suspended Lyall Duff, but it is too late to take his name off the ballot for Murdostoun ward in North Lanarkshire: the Telegraph waited to disclose Lyall Duff’s posts until after the deadline precisely so that the SNP’s possibilities for damage limitation would be minimal. This will benefit Scottish Labour; they won a majority on North Lanarkshire council in 2007, and half of the seats in the Murdostoun ward. The Telegraph ran another story this morning with an opening:

Labour questioned why the SNP was prepared to pass new legislation cracking down on sectarianism in football matches but has so far refused to expel Lyall Duff. They accused the First Minister of crying “crocodile tears” over the affair.

Why are the Telegraph runing a press campaign to help Scottish Labour win one more seat in a local authority ward in North Lanarkshire?
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Abortion

There are a set of moral, ethical, and medical issues around abortion.

[Also about use of Care Quality Commission staff for a politician’s personal prejudices. More of that in the update below.]

The Telegraph does not appear to be interested in any of them, in its latest US-style article about “abortion clinics”.

First and most importantly: Is the person who is having the abortion being coerced in any way? It would be immoral and inethical for a doctor to perform an abortion on anyone unless she wants to have her pregnancy terminated.
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The Tories like the US healthcare system

And Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor at the Telegraph, likes a liar. Let me explain.

The Health and Social Care Bill will become law. The Tory love for the US healthcare system is based on its profitability to people like them rather than to its effectiveness. The Health and Social Care Act is intended to increase the NHS costs and decrease services.
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Profits, non-profits, and a living wage

Last night I had a nasty little conversation with a Cambridge Tory: I was rude (for which I am sorry today); so was he (but I can’t do anything about that).

The conversation began with a tweet by someone else:

To which the Tory, apparently confused about the difference between profiting from someone else’s illness, and making a living providing healthcare:
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Dear LibDems, climb out of the window now

I woke up yesterday to a Tory on Twitter accusing all of us who have protested the NHS Reform of being “hysterical”. A Lib Dem suggested that we really shouldn’t call it privatisation because that’s just a dystopic fantasy. She and another LibDem were telling me that I shouldn’t blame the Liberal Democrats or the Tories because this was all Labour’s fault really, I ought to be complaining about what the Labour government were doing back when they were in power, not about what the Tories and LibDems are doing now.

[And by Friday, Lord Ashcroft had published a concern troll at ConHome: update below.]

The Ninth Doctor: She's climbing out the window, isn't she?

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Filed under Epetitions, Healthcare

Did the LibDems just vote me towards independence?

A record-breaking 172,475 people have signed Dr Kailash Chand’s e-petition to drop the NHS Reforms bill.

David Cameron promised once upon a time that any e-petition that got more than 100,000 signatures would get a debate in the House of Commons, but he evidently meant “any e-petition that Tories can support without going against the interests of our donors“.

At the Liberal Democrat conference today:

2.21pm: Nick Clegg has won his first battle of the conference. According to Channel 4’s Michael Crick on Twitter, Lib Dem activists have chosen to debate the Shirley Williams health motion tomorrow – the pro-leadership one – instead of the rebel motion calling for it to be withdrawn or defeated.

2.27pm: The Shirley Williams health motion got 309 votes. The rebel “drop the bill” one got 280 votes.

On Tuesday 13th March, the e-petition will have a House of Commons debate and the House of Lords will have a 3rd-reading debate on the Bill.

If the Bill becomes law, while it will not apply to the NHS in Scotland (or in Wales) Scots travelling in England will have to reckon with the possibility they may not get emergency treatment on the NHS. Continue reading

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What does the NHS mean to me?

What have the LibDems accomplished, says this bright infographic. It doesn’t reference the coming privatisation and breakup of the NHS in England.

(Not in Scotland or Wales, thanks to devolution – neither country has a Tory government.)

My father is alive and well (fairly so) at 85 because of the NHS. (In the past ten years, he’s broken his wrist and his hip – he has osteoparosis – and had eye operations for a cataract and for glaucoma. He has a pacemaker to keep his heart beating.

My mother’s diabetes was diagnosed promptly (at the age of 77) because of the NHS.

Myself, my brother and sister, my nephew, we were all born on the NHS.

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Every woman who needs an abortion should get it on the NHS

I’m pro-choice. Whatever your view on the ethics of abortion or your judgement of any particular woman’s reasons for having an abortion, it seems an unqualified wrong for anyone other than the pregnant woman herself to have the first choice and the final say on whether she will terminate or continue any pregnancy. Her body, her health, her life: her decision. Attempts by the state to deny a woman safe legal abortion merely result in higher rates of unsafe illegal abortions – the pro-life ideology is lethal to women: and is own brother to the idea of forcing women to get pregnant.

No one in the UK who needs an abortion should have to work out how to pay for it. It’s a crying shame, as well as a tragedy, that UK citizens in Northern Ireland, who pay the same taxes for the NHS as everyone else, should have to go private when they come to mainland UK to get an abortion, while abortion in the Republic of Ireland is banned completely.

From the Abortion Support Network’s case files:

A woman who was 19 weeks pregnant with 3 children, including one under the age of one. Initially she looked into trying to self-abort as felt could not afford to pay for a termination. She was in a desperate state when she called Abortion Support Network. She knew she was pregnant at 10 weeks but could not book an abortion because she had no funds. After saving for 8 weeks, she managed to put aside 600 Euros. She was worried about her own health but ‘terrified’ to go near a hospital in case they would force her to have the baby. Abortion Support Network agreed to pay for her flights and the remainder of her clinic fee.

Ireland’s outsourcing of its abortions to mainland UK has been found to be in breach of international human rights law because in a recent test case, an Irish woman with a clear health need to abort had found that:

“neither the medical consultation nor litigation options, relied on by the Irish government, constituted effective and accessible procedures which allowed the third applicant to establish her right to a lawful abortion in Ireland”.

From 30th April 2012, Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) ruled, private clinics will be allowed to advertise abortion services – and pro-life centres that do not provide medical referrals for abortion will have to make that clear in their advertising.

Not-for-profit pregnancy services are already allowed to advertise on television and radio and for-profit clinics can already advertise in all other media, including newspapers.

Under new rules clinics will have to make it clear in all advertising if they do not offer referral for termination.

This was because of strong public health grounds, BCAP said.

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Santa Lansley’s NHS

Whether you walk or are pushed into a NHS A&E department, there is one question that the staff will always ask you if you are able to communicate, or the person with you if you’re not:

“Are you allergic to anything?”

If and when there’s time, they’ll ask you other things, like “Describe where it hurts” and “What brings you here?” and “Can we have your name and your date of birth?” plus “Are you registered with a GP?” but those are low-priority. If you’re in too much pain to speak, they want to know if you’re allergic to anything before they give you painkillers.

Here’s what your time in hospital will look like once Andrew Lansley’s got his way:

I told Lori that over the last 10 minutes or so, Emily’s pain had grown tenfold, that it seemed like an appendix situation or maybe a tiny elf she swallowed was now trying to shoot his way out. So you know, we could really use someone down here right away to at least try to get that pain under control. Lori looked at me in a way that made me think she was going to reply in Russian, and said instead, “I’m just here to get some registration information.”

I focused all of my frustration into a very violent sigh and said, “Sure, I understand. However, she should have been on the road to the hospital an hour before we finally did. It’s a 35 minute drive. Then once we got here, she’s been laying in this bed, unseen by anyone at all for over an hour. If you can’t get someone in here yourself, at least point me in the right direction so I can.”

She then promptly ignored everything I just said and started asking Emily about her address and insurance information.
(5 Unhelpful People You Meet in Every Hospital)

The author’s girlfriend survived a ruptured appendix, but only just.

As was pointed out six months ago, Andrew Lansley’s reaction to massive public criticism of his attack on the NHS was to step up the spin rather than change the attack. In appreciation of the immense profits that are about to be made, John Nash (Care UK, etc), one of the private healthcare tycoons who look upon the NHS as a barrier to their just profit gave Lansley £21,000 in November 2011.

Andrew Lansley’s Christmas present to the private healthcare sector was huge:

NHS hospitals in England will be free to use almost half their hospital beds and theatre time for private patients under government plans.

These are hospitals, beds, and operating theatres that were paid for by the taxpayers, for the free use of all. As I saw posted on Twitter, this isn’t so much privatisation as welfare for the rich: private companies aren’t being asked to buy 49% of NHS hospitals in England: they’re being allowed to make use of our resources and we’ll have to pay them if we want the same level of access as we had before Santa Lansley filled John Nash’s stocking.

£21,000? Cheap at the price. Andrew Lansley is giving away what isn’t his. Ho ho ho.

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