Friday, 12 May 2017

Competition taken too far



Yesterday I went to the audiology department of our local NHS hospital for a minor adjustment to one of my hearing aids.  After she had dealt with it  the technician told me  I was due for another hearing test in July, but would not be sent for.  It was up to me to "initiate the procedure" and "request a new pathway."  (Who on earth dreams up this management speak?")

I would then be advised  that I could go to the private sector for this.  It is apparently mandatory that his option be pointed out to me.

Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green  initiatives are often subject to routine ridicule, but we are expected to take this  nonsense in our stride

Clearly this requirement has been imposed on the NHS by some fanatical neoliberal obsessed with the virtues of market choice.

But it is ridiculous.  Like demanding that, before  selling you a book, Foyles must tell you that you could buy the same volume at Waterstones.  Or that before pulling you a pint of Tetley's the barman should remind you that you could get a pint of Sam Smith's at the pub up the road.

And I wonder if the playing field is levelled by requiring the private sector hearing aid specialists  to tell their customers that equivalent support is available from the NHS free at the point of use?

Those why deny that further aspects of the NHS are up for privatisation if the Tories remain in government should take note of this straw in the wind.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it more like upgrading to 1st class on a train journey to kings cross ? All the money goes to the same pot?

    Or is this a two-tier NHS service? I know very little about how private/public healthcare works.

    The one thing I have noticed about NHS services is how they differ from region to region. I suppose the massive population increase hasn't done much to alleviate services.

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