So in case you don’t know, The Health and Social Care Act was passed on the 27th March 2013.
THIS IS A BAD THING (in my opinion)
“Wow Lilipop” I hear you say “That’s a bit strong, how bad can it be?”
Well, very bad. The most crucial thing you need to know about this bill is that it takes away the right to universal health care in the UK. This means that the government no longer has a duty to provide health care for the public. This means, after the 1st of April, there will no longer be an NHS.
“er WHAT” I hear you exclaim “THIS IS AWFUL WHY HAVE I NOT HEARD OF THIS?!”
You have not heard of this because NO MAJOR NEWS NETWORK HAS REPORTED THE ABOLITION OF THE NHS. According to newspapers with page 3’s, boobs are bigger news (they aren’t).
What the Act means
Like most things in politics, the actual bill is incomprehensible without a lot of hard reading and previous knowledge (or a friend to explain it all) but if you want to have a look at it, here it is
And here is my brief sum-up
- The Secretary of State will no longer have the duty to provide health care. This means the government is no longer accountable for the health service and make it difficult for the Secretary of State to step in should the new, independent groups provide substandard care. Now there is no one responsible to provide a service people need, the health service will become nothing more than a string on independent services governed by and unelected official, basically free to get on with making money. Also, because the government is no longer responsible for health care, there will no longer be government regulators or watchdogs. Instead they will be controlled by the companies that are providing the services making watchdogs much more likely to be influenced or bias. This means all the responsiblity of providing health care for the UK will be shifted from the government to private companies, GPs and unelected commissioners.
- The National Health Service will now be opened to completion laws. The Act brings in several measures that are meant to increase market competition, making the health care market like a utility such as gas. Private health care companies with lots of lawyers and legal expertise are much more likely to exploit these new laws to make a profit rather than charities that want to provide a good quality service. These competition laws also open up what is left of the NHS to stealth privatisation. The Act will leave the system massively in favour of private health companies but there is no legislation against private health companies buying up services which makes it almost impossible for what remains of the NHS to provide basic services such as A&E or intensive care units.
BUT WHAT DOES THIS ACTUALLY MEAN FOR ME?
This doesn’t mean that immediately when you wake up on the 2nd of April you will no longer be able to receive health care. What it does mean is the death of comprehensive heath care. Comprehensive health care is all illnesses and everyone will be treated. This means if you are rich but have a small or minor illness you will get treated better or faster than someone with less money but a much more serious illness. The Faculty of Public Health’s risk assessment warns of 1) loss of a comprehensive health service, 2) increased costs, 3) reduced quality of care, 4) widening health inequalities. This Act paves the way for a for a health system more like the American model, where, if you can not afford health insurance, you do not get treated.
I am personally furious. Fuming.