So earlier this week Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham gave what is now an all too familiar diatribe against the terrifying reality that NHS are increasingly awarding contracts to provide services to private firms – companies that devlishly sell services for a profit. Who could have come up with such an evil scheme?
Well, Andy signed off on the idea when he was Health Secretary in 2009 but never mind that – we live in a different time, this is a different Andy. This is not the happy-go-lucky Andy who tried (ish) and failed (miserably) to become leader of the Labour Party, this is an angry Andy, who is trying (a lot) and failing miserably (it seems) to position himself as the next leader of the Labour Party by courting the left. And to do that his plan is to make out that all private companies are evil and should be banished from the NHS – even if it requires building a colossal Game of Thrones esq icy wall to keep them out – there is no debate…
Oh wait, there is! For the Daily Mail says that “leading doctors” say that what Andy says about private companies putting patients at risk is actually going to put patients at risk. They say Andy was ‘misguided’ when he demanded a moratorium on new contracts being signed with charities and private companies. They say that CCGs “must retain the freedom to make use of innovation, experience and investment from all sectors to improve patient care,” which includes private firms. Why? Because they run CCGs damnit and what’s the point of trying to have competition for services when you remove the competition! Dr Michael Dixon, president of NHS Clinical Commissioners – who represents them (he’s a bit like Mance Raydar), agrees.
What do you say to that Andy? Ah, well you’re making the assumption this is a rational debate. No, no, no… Competition is bad, end of. Just watch Game of Thrones – there you will see the evil of competition, and it’s really gory. The NHS has an incestuous divine right to provide services. And Andy wants to be King.