Since June 2009 the NHS in the UK has been told it must find ‘efficiency savings’ of £20bn.
The original edict came from Sir David Nicholson, then chief executive of the NHS and now head of the all-powerful ‘NHS England’ quango.
Since that time no politician has been able to properly explain why these cuts are needed, and I mean proper evidence based reasoning similar to that which a doctor would demand before prescribing some medication to their patient.
Politicians have given many reasons for these cuts but they never stand up to scrutiny.
The impact will dramatically affect patients and their illnesses so it is vital we hold politicians to account for their constant mantra of the need to make ‘efficiency savings’ with the NHS budget.
I believe these cuts are being used to degrade the service in order to allow many more private companies to move in, in a similar way that the British railway system didn’t have the investment it required in the ‘80s and ‘90s so the service inevitably worsened due to the disinvestment and the politicians could then say ‘look how bad the railways are - we will have to move the private sector in to save it’.
This year we see the madness of the tax payer owned and highly profitable East Coast Rail service being sold off to the private sector thereby losing all that profit to the City that we could have reinvested into making the rail network even better.
The Tory led coalition has also pushed through legislation to ease the sale of NHS services to the private sector.
Remember in 2010 after many years of Labour investing in the NHS it had the lowest ever waiting times and highest ever satisfaction ratings, an amazing achievement when you consider how much less we spend on healthcare compared to many other countries.
Per person in the UK we spend half the amount the USA does on healthcare yet we have longer life expectancy and better infant mortality rates than the USA.