Friday, 7 March 2014

Privatization is not the answer.

Well I found this old blog that I wrote for another old blog in 2009. I got my cousin to translate it into Icelandic for the very left-wing political website called Eggin. Which now unfortunately is defunct. Reading it back now with slightly older and slightly more educated eyes.

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Capitalism has always been an idea that has fascinated me and horrified at the same time. Specially then it comes down to health-care. I come from a country that has mainly(All I think, but might be wrong) public health-care system, but I got drummed into my head by these Capitalist Yokels that a private health-care setting would be better run due to the fact that the owners would run it better as they would know where the money is coming from and going.

When I moved to Britain, I started working in a private Nursing Home. I am still getting over that experience. I just can't understand how people can make money out of elderly, mentally and physically ill people. I was led to believe that they would be better taken care of and that the staff would be better paid. But no on both accounts, staff get barely minimum wage. People don't usually work in healthcare for the money, but if your paying your staff pittance, then the care will reflect that. We're not talking big money, only enough to live on.

Plus these owners will try and save money on the most basic things. Food, staff training and get this heating! Instead they'll pay money for new wallpaper and carpets(In a fucking nursing home!!!) but that hoist that is provided and was bought second-hand and is missing a wheel has to do.

The care itself is horrible, and that's without considering that these people have lived through probably most horrific and era-changing times. Yet here they are, defecating themselves, eating food that a beggar would refuse and over-medicated as well.

Healthcare as far as I'm concerned should always be run by the local authority.

Healthcare is not a business. And you should never expect to make profit out of it, because if your making profit that means that someone is suffering which will set a whole row of dominoes falling. If a staff member calls in sick, that in return will put more pressure on rest of the staff. Which in turn will cause stress, that lowers the immune system, which in turn will cause more sickness. And in some cases these carers will be patients at the same healthcare system. And as such become more of a burden on society.

The most that healthcare should expect is to break even. The thing that councils and governments should bear in mind is that if they make sure that they run a good system, and managed to get a patient in and out in good condition, they can go to work sooner and hence pay taxes sooner. With happier healthy population, they might spend more money on other things, thus pay VAT! It's not exactly rocket-science but it does seem to bamboozle those accountants at City Hall who've got a way to personal relationship with their calculators, and who tend to think of people as statistics.

The day that people think that you should have to pay at a health-care setting to get a good treatment, is the day you stop being human.

And for those old folk it's the least they should expect from essentially building this country that we live in.

Good care shouldn't be optional, it should be mandatory.
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Taken from Another Angry Voice 


Now. On the whole I still stand by this. With some slight modifications. The first placement I got as part of my Nursing studies was in a private nursing home. And it was lovely. The staff were nice and hard working, the management were (mostly) working towards providing the best care for their patients. But, it is also one of the more expensive nursing homes around. So there is that. Do I think that Private Healthcare companies are inherently evil? Well, no. But I do think they take their eye of what is important, and that is the patient, not the pocket.

I've worked in the NHS for 8 years now. And I've come to appreciate it very deeply. Hence when the ConDems came into power I was horrified but not surprised when plans to privatize it. In bits of course. And as far as I know it has pretty much already started in south of England, where corporations like Virgin Healthcare have taken over Primary Care and Children's Care. I don't think that people who work for these firms are evil, but at the end of the day it is being run as a business for profit. The biggest shocker though has been the idea of using a private firm to build a centralized data storage. Which is an idea that I fundamentally support but the execution of it has been shit. But this is something that Ben Goldacre writes about more elegantly then I could hope to do.

Do I think that the NHS is perfect? Well, no. Nothing is. But what I do know is that it is helluva lot better than most of the media would like to portray it. And sadly I don't think that people will realize what they've missed until it's gone, but then they won't be able to afford it.

While I do know that the NHS are going through some problems, privatization is not the answer to those problems.
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