Ever since Andrew Lansley's white paper on transforming the NHS was first published in July 2010, many commentators have warned that the intentions were for the privatisation of the whole health system in England.
The problem with those warnings has often been the deniability. Go through the Health Act 2012, as eventually passed by Parliament, and the precise means by which the system would be opened up wasn't clear in black and white … if you could understand it at all.
Now, with the publication of vital regulations which set out the details of how commissioners must work, the tools are exposed. A petition calling for a Parliamentary debate on these regulations has achieved over 350,000 signatures.
In this video, Dr Lucy Reynolds, a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explains in detail how the transformation will be achieved, how GPs are being groomed to take the blame, and what the impacts will be … based on similar experiences elsewhere. The interviewer is Jill Mountfield, a member of the steering committee on the “Save Lewisham Hospital” campaign.
Everyone below the age of retirement in England was born and has grown up in the NHS … and most of those in retirement were probably too young to really appreciate what life was like before it.
The presence of a publicly funded universal health service that is free and available to everyone at the point of need is so ingrained that most adult Britons take it for granted and have little appreciation of the extent to which they benefit.
Anyone who promises that they can reverse these changes once they have taken effect is mistaken, as I set out to explain in this piece last October. In particular, once you break up and sell off parts of such a complex system the state would find it very difficult to put back into public ownership as a whole.
As the song says, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone".
This is a long video … 75 minutes. If you're pushed for time then you will learn enough just in the first five minutes.
If you have more time though, this is the story which national broadcasters didn't explain at the time. You'll have plenty of time to ponder it when the NHS is irrevocably changed.