Letter to my MP re the Health Reform Bill

MPs are debating the Health Reform Bill. If you possibly can, PLEASE contact your MP and urge them not to support it .


Here is my letter :

Dear...,


As you may remember,  I care full time for my wife who has Very Severe ME; we are  very worried  about the possible implications of the  Health Reform Bill, which , in our opinion, is focused upon choice limitation, demand reduction and profit generation, rather than patient need, especially the needs of the most frail, disabled and vulnerable,  and are writing to ask you to oppose it.

The reforms ,which appear to be based upon  a privatised ,US “managed care” system,  will result, in our opinion,  in the tragic  situation where  those who pay or are insured will get a better service than those who do not.

We are particularly concerned that  GPs will  be given the power to choose which services they provide in local areas , this means that a person with ME , if they receive a service at all, might not be able to get access to the same services as someone who lives down the road from them , purely because they  live within a different commissioning group.

We are also very worried that if this Bill goes ahead,  how  in  a few years years from now independent GPs may have been driven out of the health  system and into insolvency  by American-style  Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), especially given how  some of those key players might include :

• UnitedHealth, a health insurance company and health maintenance  organisation (HMO) already involved in NHS commissioning, which has settled an accusation of major fraud out of court against the US Medicare scheme which funds health coverage for elderly US citizens;
• Hospital Corporation of America, which admitted its guilt in a case of Medicare fraud, leading to the then largest ever fraud settlement in US history;
• General Healthcare Group (GHG), a subsidiary of the South African corporation Netcare, which pleaded guilty to illegal organ transplants;
• Care UK, owned by private equity firm Sovereign Capital; just before the last election, the wife of one of the owners of this firm allegedly contributed £21,000 to Andrew Lansley’s private office, according to the Daily Telegraph .
(Source : Liberating the NHS: source and destination of the Lansley reform . Dr Lucy Reynoldsa, Dr John Listerb, Dr Alex Scott-Samuelc & Professor Martin McKeea 29 August 2011 pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~alexss/nhs.pdf)

My wife has already suffered for decades under the influence of the giant US Healthcare provider Unum Provident , which has seemingly gone out of its way to propagate the myth that ME is not a physical disease. The last thing we want to see happen is even more power being given to these vast multinationals.

We are very  concerned how another key player , the  Conservative think-tank Reform has according to the BMJ,  been funded by at least three of the prospective entrants to the new English healthcare regime (GHG, and  management consultants KPMG and McKinsey who are involved in NHS commissioning) .

We fail to understand why these Health  Reforms are necessary at all; the existing NHS is widely considered to be one of the  least costly healthcare systems, in the world, with one of the best levels of access to care.

 We have little confidence in this   Government and  the way in which it  has gone about amending  the Bill  in such a piecemeal fashion. We are very worried indeed about  the repeal of the government's duty to provide a comprehensive system of healthcare;  about allowing private companies to challenge GP consortia ;  about  allowing the National Commissioning Board to distribute funds with no regard to equality; about the  fact that  Monitor's future role in promoting competition has barely been touched.

We urge you to take note of  the British Medical Association’s , call last week,  for this  legislation to be withdrawn or substantially changed , they highlight :

  • Inappropriate and misguided reliance on market forces
  • Unintended, knock-on impacts with longer-term consequences such as the impact on public health and medical education and training
  • Over complexity and bureaucracy following recent changes to the Bill

Please also take note of yesterday’s UNITE poll, which shows that 90% do not trust David Cameron on the NHS and 70% believe, as we do, that this Bill will lead to privatisation.
A vote for The Health reform Bill in  its current form surely means the death of the NHS; this is too outrageous to contemplate.  We urge you, with all our heart,  not to support it.

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