Mrs Angry has been distracted from the onerous task of recording her Brighton conference memoirs by a feeling of outrage on reading this article in today's Mirror, here , with the headline:
'NHS Reforms Scandal: Hospitals charging patients for treatment that used to be free' ...
As this extract makes clear, the NHS as we understood is already a thing of the past, and the principle of free healthcare for all is dead, killed by Coalition policy, and lying on the ground, waiting for predatory private healthcare companies to step over the corpse of our welfare state, so as to avail themselves of the profits to be had at our expense, and the expense of our health and quality of life. Forget the post code lottery: you'll be lucky to find any tickets to the new 'NHS', unless you can afford to pay now.
"Hospitals are abusing David Cameron’s NHS reforms to charge patients for treatment which used to be free, Labour has revealed.
Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the secret development was the “next scandal” to hit the NHS.
He revealed under the Government’s reforms, the NHS had started rationing healthcare to save cash - while at the same time offering patients the chance to “self fund” their treatment to jump the queue.
Warrington and Halton Hospitals in the North West have admitted that “some treatments provided in the past may no longer be accessible through local NHS funding”.
But the hospitals add patients can “pay to have these procedures with us at the standard NHS price” instead.
Chelsea and Westminster, Southampton, Great Yarmouth and James Paget University Hospitals Trust all offer similar deals, Freedom of Information requests released by Labour showed.
In total, NHS hospitals have increased their private work by almost £100million since Mr Cameron opened up the health service to profit-making firms.
In October 2012, the Government gave hospitals the freedom to generate up to 49% of their income from private patients.
Over the following year, hospitals raked in £434 million from private treatment - a boost of some £47 million on 2010/11 when the Tories took power.
This will increase by a further £45 million to £479 million by next year, according to projections.
The boost in paid-for treatment has coincided with an increase in rationing brought in under the government’s reforms."
Not so long ago, Mike Freer, the Tory MP for Finchley and Golders Green, poured scorn on the idea that the NHS was being privatised ... He of course had been a staunch defender of the withholding of the Risk Register, standing up in parliament and accusing those who wanted transparency on the issue of the 'reforms' of being 'shroud wavers'.
Unfortunately, it seems horribly likely that our newly privatised easycouncil cemetery here in Capitaville will soon be filling up with shrouded residents, hastened to their demise by the inevitable decline in reasonable and fair access to a good standard of healthcare, as the Coalition assault on our National Health Service continues.
Mrs Angry decided to tackle her MP on this subject. Here is the correspondence - to be updated, if he replies to the last response.
Dear Mr Freer
Earlier this year you replied to a tweet by one of your constituents that the idea our NHS was being privatised was 'tosh'.
May I refer you to this article in today's Mirror -
- and ask you please to explain why NHS hospitals are now charging patients for certain procedures and operations, and if this is not indeed proof that privatisation is happening now, and is creating a two tier society where the rich can secure a better standard of healthcare, while those who cannot afford to pay must go the back of the queue.
I think this is utterly shameful, and the worst indictment yet of a government administration directed by a privileged elite that has never understood the needs of ordinary people, and cares even less.
The destruction of the NHS is the issue which is going to lose the next election, and, I think, is very likely to remove you from your seat in Finchley and Golders Green.
I look forward to hearing your views.
Dear Mrs Angry
Thank you for providing a link to a newspaper report. I look forward to Mr Burnham raising this in Parliament so the facts ca be established rather than his assertions. At the same time he may wish to apologise for all of the scandals in the NHS Labour were responsible for.
Mike Freer MP Conservative Member of Parliament for Finchley & Golders Green
Mmm. Response from Mrs Angry:
Dear Mr Freer,
Thank you for your prompt reply, but you are conflating two separate issues; the privatisation of the NHS, and whatever you mean by 'all of the scandals' allegedly the responsibility of the former administration, which is a matter of scrutiny, and enforcement.
I would also remind you that under Labour, waiting lists were reduced to a reasonable minimum: as I can tell you from personal experience, waiting lists are now, since the Coalition government took over, increased to an intolerable level and are set to lengthen even further as pressure is brought to bear on GPs to minimise referrals.
Again this is a practice my family has had experience of, in your constituency, and it is one that is putting lives at risk, and causing severe distress to those with serious illness or injuries who are in need of fast and effective treatment.
The closure of vital services at Chase Farm, and the removal of others from Finchley Memorial Hospital, and other local hospitals, will have the greatest impact on those who cannot afford to buy faster access to healthcare, whether from establised private enterprises or those now to be offered by the newly privatised, profiteering ventures, using resources stolen from our NHS hospitals.
Are you happy to see our NHS, and the right to free healthcare for all, a right so hard won, taken from you, by profiteering private companies? If not, time to stand and fight for it.
If you are also a consituent of Mr Freer, and you care about the future of the NHS, you may also wish to let him know what you think of the matter: his email address is -