LIKE so many people, I’m concerned about the future of the NHS and the provision of health services locally, so I took the opportunity to attend a meeting hosted in Wakefield Town Hall by the campaign group 38 Degrees.
The main focus of the meeting was on the clinical commissioning groups who are/will be responsible for deciding what services will be available and who will provide them.
I was shocked to learn the NHS has already lost one service in the Wakefield area to a private healthcare provider despite having had a consistent patient satisfaction rating of almost 100% over the years.
I can only assume that the private company now providing the service costs less - but at what cost to the patients?
Oh, sorry! That should be ‘customers’ or ‘service users’ not ‘patients’! And what happens if/when the private company decides to hike up its charges as they surely will? Do they just pull out if their demands aren’t met leaving ‘customers’ stranded mid-treatment?
Listening to the personal experiences of several others at the meeting, it became apparent to me that some of what most people believe to be ‘proposed changes to healthcare provision’ are no longer still ‘under discussion’ but have, in fact, already been implemented without the public being made aware.
In my opinion it’s high time ‘the powers that be’ responsible for the provision of health services, particularly in the Wakefield and neighbouring areas, come clean about just what’s going on, what’s already gone on and should we now prepare ourselves for a US-style system where those who can afford private health insurance get the treatments they need when they need it, whereas those who can’t have to rely on the limited treatments available through charitable providers if and when they can get it?
I would very much like to know if anyone else has heard about a recent EU directive about the UK’s health service having to treat for free anyone entering the country regardless of their immigration status no matter where in the world they come from? It may just be some unfounded scare-mongering but with the way the Government continues to kow-tow to Brussels I wouldn’t be in the least surprised!