Monday, June 30, 2008

Darzi Takes The Knife To The NHS

Surgeon turned health minister, Lord Darzi, takes the knife to the NHS today, with plans to supersize and sell off the Service and do nothing about the billions of pounds wasted on bureaucracy, top heavy management and a disasterous IT system. 

Cutting through the NewLabourSpeak and getting to the heart of the matter, the plan aims to concentrate services in massive medical clusters and then sell them off to the private heath business. 

What people want is to just cut back on the wasteful  bureaucracy and put the money into better treatment.

The scheme is well advanced, with the 'polyclinics' at the forefront - up to 25 GPs in a huge building, no doubt all run and owned by private health care companies.

The British Medical Association recently handed in a petition to Downing Street signed by over a million people objecting to the 'threat to close' their local GPs' surgeries and replace them with super-surgeries.

And, in the Darzi review, published today, scores of hospital departments including maternity units and cancer clinics will be closed or merged across the country.

This review, the brain-child of one of Brown's GOATS, Prof Lord Sir Baron Ari Darzi of Denham, has nothing to do with patient care and everything to do with big business. 

Lord Darzi has pledged that hospital units would not close before new ones opened. But this is just another huge, top-down reorganisation of the NHS, with smaller hospitals already losing specialist services to big regional centres.

Meanwhile hospital chiefs are left obsessed with balancing the books, trying to pay off the crippling PFI debt, chasing unrealistric hospital targets and getting to grips with an unworkable IT system, rather than looking after the welfare of patients. 

The shake-up, on the 60th anniversary of the NHS, marks the final nail in the coffin for the NHS,  once the envy of the world.

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