Tuesday, 1 January 2008

NHS: Your money and not your life.

It is indeed highway robbery.

The government really does intend to deny NHS treatment from people without giving them the option not to pay for it. Authoritarian just does not seem to quite cover it, even. There is a hint of indentured servitude about it all.

This, of course, is being dressed up as a "Constitution for the NHS", where so-called "patient rights" actually translate into obligations and limits on freedom. The BBC appears to swallow it whole and not even offer a whimper of dissent or critical analysis of the implications this brings with it. The ease by which the BBC abdicates its duties towards the people of the UK appears to have no bounds. Again. However many times it happens, it still has the capacity to disgust.

I am always wary of the term "rights", for "rights" do tend to result in obligations upon others, usually to concede or pay. Freedoms have a responsibility upon the same person who has the freedoms in question but this is something quite different. The NHS is not a freedom but it was surely created as a contract with the people to exchange taxation for universal§ free-at-the-point-of-use healthcare? Rationing is already rife and this is another brick in that wall, but it goes much further, as it enters the abstract. Rationing due to age or risk outsid

We can expect to see a similar spin put on any so-called "bill of rights" in general. What the government calls "rights and responsibilities" are in fact "obligations and permissions" - you have obligations and once these are carried out you might get permission to access the "entitlements". Did anyone break a law here so as to give the State the authority to act in this way? Don't think so.

By wanting to introduce such measures, the State is abusing its position as de-facto monopolistic provider.

§ universal provision can trigger abuse, but there are other ways to deal with it and the NHS has other fundamental dysfunctions to resolve before trying to fix this issue.

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