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Don't beat up the NHS

The market model has created instability across the NHS

Unions have been warning for years that crazed reorganisations and a £20 billion "efficiency" programme - cuts in laymen's terms - are having a disastrous impact on the ability of NHS England to deliver front-line care.

The market model has created instability across the service and led to cost-cutting measures that are more about the bottom line than patient care.

Yesterday's report from regulator the Care Quality Commission that certain hospitals are struggling more than others to deliver the goods should not be used as a further stick to beat the NHS and its workers with.

If there were any sense at all within this City stooge conservative coalition this latest in a line of repeated warnings should serve as a clear indicator that their policies are failing.

But instead they are more likely to hold it up as a pretext for forcing through even more rapid privatisation and further closures of local facilities.

The simple question is this.

Should the primary goal of the NHS, Britain's crown jewel service, be to deliver cutting-edge healthcare with proper resources and sufficient staff?

Or should the main drive be about applying the ill-fitting and completely inappropriate model of so-called commercial "efficiency," which means resources, pay and staffing cut to the bone and inevitable problems in being able to deliver front-line care.

That question should be asked of every person in this country. The answer if politicians were to do so would be clear and near unanimous. The NHS should be properly funded and that's a price worth paying.

While at the top of the tree "blue skies" thinking talks of a new era of care in the community - a chilling term to anyone who has encountered our broken mental health system - in order to justify closures and cutbacks, the plain fact is that the cash isn't being provided at the roots to do it.

The equally sad fact is that until the current roller coaster of cuts is stopped in its tracks we're likely to read more headlines such as today's.


Post vampires

We've said it before and we'll say it again. Heads must roll over the pillage of that other crown jewel formerly owned by us and flogged at the market by City spiv Vince Cable.

The Morning Star is 100 per cent behind the Communication Workers Union's call for his head.

Selling Royal Mail off at well below its market value represents the incompetent theft of public funds.

Anyone who spotted the news in yesterday's paper that postal services in New Zealand are being cut to three deliveries a week in cities and that posties there are being sacked in droves should take heed.

This is undoubtedly the direction of travel following the Con-Dems' great betrayal that saw the spoils divided up between a short-sighted government desperate to plug the financial hole in its austerity-infested balance sheet and its vampiric friends in the City who saw an opportunity to suck the life blood from a virgin new victim.

Chief among them is the "activist" Children's Investment Fund, run by billionaire Chris Hohn.

It has a track record of getting its way in order to get its hands on big returns.

Workers should be rightly worried that they will be the top target when it comes to maximising profits.

For this debacle Cable's resignation would not be enough, nor will the belated findings of a National Audit Office inquiry into the sale.

The only correct remedy to this glaring failure by ministers, who lack the imagination or ethics to see the potential of public services to contribute to the Exchequer, is to snatch it back at the earliest opportunity.


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