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The BBC and fundamentalist NHS reform

Posted Oct 07 2008 7:21pm

This BBC piece of 'journalism' starts off with a glaring error and then proceeds to serve as an advertisement for the government's deeply flawed ideological reform of health care ( note original has since been amended ).

"Patients with acute conditions like multiple sclerosis and diabetes could get control of their own NHS budgets to buy treatment, the government has said."

Firstly diabetes and MS are chronic conditions which may present acutely, so the BBC has got this completely wrong in the first paragraph. The pursuit of choice in the health care system is beginning to appear rather religious in its nature:

"Choice is a means to an end, the end being better quality and more personalisation of healthcare. Choice, combined with payment by results, is an important driver of quality."

The government took us to war in Iraq because of a flawed belief that violent regime change would be the means to an end, the end being the Utopian style of government that is western democratic capitalism. Their naive ideological pursuit is failing dismally there.

There are parallels between Iraq and the NHS. In both situations the government is trying to apply a one size fits all ideology to a situation that is eminently more complicated and intricate than they realise. In both cases they have a misguided and almost 'religious' belief in an ideology that is a means to an end, the end in both cases is seen by them as an achievable utopia. They are stupid and deeply misguided.

As is excellently point out here, anyone who sees that there is an end point in the provision of the perfect health care system is most likely an imbecile, a politician or both. All systems have their flaws and there unfortunately is no utopia. The government's ideological pursuit of a market in health care, when finite resources are available to manage an exponential demand, is deeply flawed. This reform is leading to more and more money being wasted on creating the market, managing the market, rigging the market and fiddling with the market.

The end result is an NHS in which more and more money is diverted away from patient care and towards a burgeoning bureaucracy. Just like Marxism, fundimentalist free market capitalism exhibits all the hallmarks of deluded religious thinking; their ideology is a means to a perfect end, the end justifies any means and they cannot be wrong. To hell with reason.
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