It took the Juggernaut of a Coalition government to pass a Bill so vague/complex it could not be properly debated and was longer than the 1949 Act that created the NHS to destroy it.
Even David Cameron apparently did not know what the Health and Social Care Bill entailed.
To get onto our statute books it needed to be all things to all people.
It was a PR feat extraordinaire.
Full of anomalies and contradictions, in breach of the rule of law, as, like the Mental Capacity and Carers Acts, it had to disguise its real purpose.
And such confused legislation is now restructuring our NHS.
Parliament rubber stamped structures and ‘laws’, woven under regulations by various newly created executive bodies, whose purposes were made to look beneficent but have resulted in the vulturing of our NHS and with it our nation’s health and welfare.
The Act put total control in the hands of one all powerful, newly created NHS England, which by clause 1 replaced the Secretary of State in providing our health services.
NHS England is now headed by Simon Stevens, advisor to Tony Blair, who then spent 10 years as an executive of US Universal Health Services.
The Commons Public Administration Select Committee, attempted to ascertain the level, if any, of accountability, NHS England has to the Secretary of State, but its Chair Bernard Jenkin could only comment;
‘’Vast amounts of money are involved here, £95.6 billion in the case of NHS England alone, and it is simply not acceptable that there is no clarity or clear accountability for that kind of public expenditure… The architecture is not meant to be reminiscent of the film The Matrix where doors open on virtual worlds which are insulated from reality and hidden from the public and from those meant to be accountable for them.”
The effect of this change is that Parliament including local MPs cannot hold NHS provision to account.
Section 75 focused on creating tendering which increasingly goes to private companies, allowing vital cash from a limited NHS budget to be poured into the most profitable services, leaving less for key services like A and E and GPs .
With NHS England oversight, outsourced since 2016 Clinical Commissioning Groups have £95 billion and increasing per year, to effectively give away to ‘any qualified provider’ .
The joint 11 CCG Committee in West Yorkshire recently invited an Integrated Care Organisation for mental health from Detroit to ‘help’ them set up integrated mental health working in West Yorkshire.
In the US in 2014 the third most likely cause of death after heart attack and cancer, was preventable medical error, up from 9th place ten years earlier.
But, for the companies, a contract for 15 years secured now, means any policy change by government, will not touch them for the life of the contract.
Even in Valencia where a left coalition was elected in 2015, replacing the right-wing PP government which pioneered the Alzera model the hospital apparently is being returned to public ownership but only at the expiry of the 15 year contract, on 1 April 2018.
Another reason why Centene is now focusing on the UK.
NHS Foundation Trusts, the backbone of the NHS, are being converted into private companies, with previous trust directors the new owners of public money, charged with provision of services, and their own salaries, all behind the closed walls of ‘business confidentiality’, immune from Freedom of Information Act Notices, their meetings held in secret.
Did our NHS need such dangerous, complex, radical surgery ?
The Commonwealth Fund a private US foundation reporting in 2010 on health systems ,using its own and other international data involving 20,000 patients in 11 developed countries found our NHS one of the most cost effective systems with excellent access to care.
Only New Zealand was cheaper but here 1 in 7 missed out on care because of costs, and only Switzerland spent 35% more but gave better access.
In 2014 their report ranked our NHS highest overall on quality of care, access , efficiency, equity and healthy lives.
That same year the Office for National Statistics showed the UK spent the least of the G7 countries on health care 9.2 of GDP ranked joint bottom with Italy.
But, whereas, we see the NHS as our protector from birth to death, our successive governments have seen it as a huge money spinner.
Socialinvestigations revealed a list of interests in health and care services of the MPs and Lords voting on the Bill .
225 MPs- 78% conservative, 145 peers- a quarter conservative a sixth labour had a recent or current interests/ connections in health care .
Their investigations revealed a tangled web of offshore companies, donations, consultancies, directorships and shares held in companies likely to profit from the Bill’s privatisation agenda.
Our most needy really are now at the mercy of our most greedy, free from scrutiny or accountability.