Hands Off Bedford Hospital

Bedford, Luton & Dunstable and Milton Keynes Hospitals are in line to be fast tracked into something called an “Accountable Care System” (an ACS). What’s an ACS you might ask?

It’s something, created by someone, who wants to reorganise the NHS as part of “Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships”, (STP). You get the idea, and probably love the jargon.

The aim is to change the way the NHS is funded, bringing Health and Social Care under one budget. But that budget will be capped. I can’t imagine who would want to do such a thing, can you?

The other thing you need to know is that an ACS is based on the US system, the insurance model, an ACO, “Accountable Care Organisation”. An ACO is effectively a private insurance organisation. See where this is going?

An ACS can be run by a private company, such as Carillion or G4S. Worried yet? You should be.

One other thing. Sometime ago a book was written by Jeremy  Hunt explaining what a good idea it would be if we got rid of the NHS and replaced it with American style ACOs, and moved to an insurance based health care system, just like in the good old US of A.

A capped budget means one thing, there is a limit on what treatment you will be able to get, unless you pay more. Liking it so far?

You may have heard in the last few weeks that the Tories are keen on the National Insurance we all pay being solely for the purpose of funding the NHS. That’s right, we’ll all be paying a specific National Insurance for the NHS. Step two will be the selling off of the National Insurance system to a Private Company, like Carillion, and there you have it, a Privatised NHS.

So this it what you get for your ACS:

  • a capped budget
  • a limit on treatment
  • services limited by cost & budget
  • privatised NHS
  • treatment if you can afford it
  • massive cuts to services

Sounds like a Tory plan. That’s exactly what it is. And it will happen unless people make a fuss, make a big issue of it.

That’s why today I was outside Bedford Hospital, in the cold and rain, with lots of other people spreading the message. And letting the Tories know,  that we know, what their plan is, and we don’t like it.

Here’s a price list, in dollars of what you can expect

  • Epipen  $600
  • Inhaler $125
  • Cataracts $3,542
  • Childbirth $9000 t0 $12000
  • Caesarean section $15,700 to $21495
  • Hip replacement $40,364
  • Knee replacement $49,500
  • Heart attack $50,000 on-going per year
  • Appendix removed $$55,495
  • Heart transplant $$1.2million

Currently I believe you have to pay £8.60 prescription cost for an inhaler or an epipen, all the other things are free. Some of the above costs would be covered by your Privatised National Insurance payments, but not much unless you were able to top up your cover, which most of us wont be able to do.

Of course you might face an excess on your insurance, in much the same way car insurance works. Maybe you would pay the first £300, or possibly 10%.

And don’t forget that a Privatised National Insurance Company would do their damnedest to avoid paying out or reduce your payout. They have to make a profit.

Think on that. And think on Carillion. And think on whether you trust the Tories. Jeremy Hunt? Liam Fox? John Redwood? Boris Johnson? Michael Gove? You could make your own list, it could go on forever.

Local Press Report

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