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NHS Not Safe From Private Firms In Controversial TTIP Deal, UK Admits

More dodgy deals being done in secret, who is getting rich this time? Could we be seeing Medicare insurance coming to the UK (bet your life your tax liability won't diminish either!)

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/09/01/ttip-eu-us-trade-deal_n_5747088.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

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Sounds like the pinnacle of crony capitalism, the corporations of the future will need to go to Asia to get their govts to raise taxes to handover to them.

Edited by Corruption

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It's all about giving people choice. The choice between healthcare free at the point of use* (*limited to ingrowing toenails and removal of splinters) or adding to student loan and inter generational mortgage debt with private healthcare debt for anything else.

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I'm sure all the profitable areas will be "privatised" leaving the taxpayer with the expensive "loss making" services.

What they need to do is split the NHS into "good" hospitals and "bad" hospitals. The good ones are sold off to investors and the bad ones are held by taxpayers.

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What they need to do is split the NHS into "good" hospitals and "bad" hospitals. The good ones are sold off to investors and the bad ones are held by taxpayers.

The private sector is not stupid.

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What is more important to human health:

1. Healthcare

2. Food

I would definitely say 2. Without food we will die pretty quickly. Food is handled by the private sector in this country and is doing pretty well:

1. Food is cheap and has been getting cheaper (especially as a % of salaries)

2. There is a lot of choice.

3. There are no waiting lists to get food

4. Almost everybody can afford food. There are a couple of people who can not, but there are charities and food banks that help these people out.

5. Food is of high quality.

In countries where food is handled by the state you typically see the following problems:

1. Taxes are high to pay for the food the government has to supply.

2. There is not a lot of choice in food.

3. There are waiting lists and quotas for food.

4. Food is not of high quality since the government does not have competition, they can just dish up any old %*.

If you don't believe me, there is a documentary about food in Cuba on Youtube somewhere.

I propose we privatise healthcare so we can get some of the same benefits that private food has in the UK.

Don't tell me that the US health care is private and expensive. The US health care system is an insurance cartel enforced by the US government. And 50% of healthcare spending in the US is by the government anyway.

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What is more important to human health:

1. Healthcare

2. Food

I would definitely say 2. Without food we will die pretty quickly. Food is handled by the private sector in this country and is doing pretty well:

1. Food is cheap and has been getting cheaper (especially as a % of salaries)

2. There is a lot of choice.

3. There are no waiting lists to get food

4. Almost everybody can afford food. There are a couple of people who can not, but there are charities and food banks that help these people out.

5. Food is of high quality.

In countries where food is handled by the state you typically see the following problems:

1. Taxes are high to pay for the food the government has to supply.

2. There is not a lot of choice in food.

3. There are waiting lists and quotas for food.

4. Food is not of high quality since the government does not have competition, they can just dish up any old %*.

If you don't believe me, there is a documentary about food in Cuba on Youtube somewhere.

I propose we privatise healthcare so we can get some of the same benefits that private food has in the UK.

Don't tell me that the US health care is private and expensive. The US health care system is an insurance cartel enforced by the US government. And 50% of healthcare spending in the US is by the government anyway.

You're comparing apples with oranges.

Food is something anyone can grow themselves. It's difficult to monopolise and globalisation has actually helped drive down costs. It's often produced by the poorest in low wage countries and then imported, which again makes it difficult to monopolise.

Healthcare is (very obviously) different. Most people can't perform a heart bypass or treat cancer. We have the option to go to Eastern Europe or Asia for cheaper healthcare (or dental work), but by and large any healthcare we need must be produced/administered here.

A better food analogy (if we must use one) would be to compare the cost of organic UK farm produced food, and imagine how much that would cost if no supermarkets importing cheap globalisation produced food existed. My guess is the farmers would start to charge even more for their produce (if you have the monopoly you will logically charge the most you can). Most people would be forced to grow for themselves again because they couldn't afford to eat otherwise. The best case scenario would be the state gives the farmers billions each year in subsidies (to be fair farmers are already heavily state subsidied, but if we were solely reliant on UK farms for food chances are they'd need hundreds of billions more).

The "food/healthcare" thing is a piss poor analogy though I'm afraid. The railways (and actually housing costs in the UK) are much better examples of what happens when you privatise something that can be monopolised (but I can see why you've avoided those!) Although thanks for the laugh.

Edited by byron78

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It's all going so swimmingly, after all.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-29012652

A consultant has been suspended and the NHS has stopped referring patients to a private hospital for cataract operations after reported problems.

Two people attended Torbay Hospital A&E department after being treated at Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay.

Torbay Hospital, in Devon, said it contacted 19 patients treated on 26 July for an "urgent clinical review".

Mount Stuart apologised and said an inquiry was under way after the consultant's suspension.

Torbay Hospital was made aware of the problem when two patients attended its A&E department with eyesight problems after treatment at Mount Stuart.

It said none of the 19 NHS patients - all seen on the same day - have needed corrective surgery.

Torbay Hospital and the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group have stopped referring patients to Mount Stuart following the concerns.

David Sinclair, interim medical director at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Torbay Hospital, said: "We identified this problem at an early stage and were able to recall all the patients affected very quickly.

"Whenever we refer patients to providers, we carry out quality and safety checks and ensure that they meet current legislative and registration requirements."

Gill Gant, director for patient safety at South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Patient safety is always the absolute priority, so it is important that these cataract operations are paused until we have absolute assurance that the service is safe."

Ramsay Health Care UK, which runs Mount Stuart, said it offered "its sincere apologies to all patients who suffered complications".

It said: "As soon as we realised that there was a potential problem all patients were recalled by Mount Stuart Hospital and then by Torbay Hospital.

"The consultant concerned has had practising privileges with Ramsay Health Care since 2005 and has been a registered doctor since 1989.

"To date he has completed 4,537 cataracts across the organisation and has a history of delivering excellent clinical outcomes with a complication rate of less than 0.5%."

Mount Stuart added the consultant had been suspended while investigations took place.

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You're comparing apples with oranges.

Food is something anyone can grow themselves. It's difficult to monopolise and globalisation has actually helped drive down costs. It's often produced by the poorest in low wage countries and then imported, which again makes it difficult to monopolise.

Healthcare is (very obviously) different. Most people can't perform a heart bypass or treat cancer. We have the option to go to Eastern Europe or Asia for cheaper healthcare (or dental work), but by and large any healthcare we need must be produced/administered here.

A better food analogy (if we must use one) would be to compare the cost of organic UK farm produced food, and imagine how much that would cost if no supermarkets importing cheap globalisation produced food existed. My guess is the farmers would start to charge even more for their produce (if you have the monopoly you will logically charge the most you can). Most people would be forced to grow for themselves again because they couldn't afford to eat otherwise.

The "food/healthcare" thing is a piss poor analogy though I'm afraid. Although thanks for the laugh.

Most people cannot grow their own food. Can you raise cattle in your back yard? Good luck with that.

Most healthcare is pretty basic stuff: Colds, flu, cuts and bruises. Ask your local GP if you don't believe me. Using an extreme example such as a heart bypass is not accurate.

Just like food production has benefited from globalisation, so has healthcare. MRI scanners and medicines are made in cheaper global locations, etc.

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Most people cannot grow their own food. Can you raise cattle in your back yard? Good luck with that.

Most healthcare is pretty basic stuff: Colds, flu, cuts and bruises. Ask your local GP if you don't believe me. Using an extreme example such as a heart bypass is not accurate.

Just like food production has benefited from globalisation, so has healthcare. MRI scanners and medicines are made in cheaper global locations, etc.

I can see it's gone over your head.

Most people can't grow their own food. Of course they can't. That wasn't my point. The point is in your scenario - if food worked like healthcare does - they would have to.

As I said, railways and UK housing are better analogies because they are examples of what happens when something that can be monopolised is privatised.

Food is difficult to monopolise.

I have 10 superstores inside 5 miles of me all importing globalised food. That's why it's cheap.

If I only had 1 and that was my only option, and it was only selling locally produced food, that would be the equivalent of how a hospital functions.

Privatising the NHS would not suddenly see another 9 hospitals open up near me, competing with cheap imports to drive down prices.

Food and healthcare are very obviously not comparable. Unless you're an idiot.

Edited by byron78

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I can see it's gone over your head.

Most people can't grow their own food. Of course they can't. That wasn't my point. The point is in your scenario - if food worked like healthcare does - they would have to.

As I said, railways and UK housing are better analogies because they are examples of what happens when something that can be monopolised is privatised.

Food is difficult to monopolise.

I have 10 superstores inside 5 miles of me all importing globalised food. That's why it's cheap.

If I only had 1 and that was my only option, and it was only selling locally produced food, that would be the equivalent of how a hospital functions.

They are not comparable. Unless you're an idiot.

Have you ever used a health care system other than a government one?

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I used to be open minded about NHS 'privatization'...i'm not a great fan of the NHS, and the US system is a worst case scenario bought about by 50 years of lobbyists and Demopublican one party state politics.

But seeing how they've forced the abusive US university setup on us, I must admit I'm somewhat worried about them extending the same shit to healthcare.

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The "food/healthcare" thing is a piss poor analogy though I'm afraid. The railways (and actually housing costs in the UK) are much better examples of what happens when you privatise something that can be monopolised (but I can see why you've avoided those!) Although thanks for the laugh.

If you think housing is completely privately run and not completely screwed up by the government land monopoly then you can't have been paying much attention on here. Private housing worked fine until the government started laying down restrictive planning laws.

Yes anyone can grow their own food, but hardly anyone does so that's not really relevant is it.

I think you need to at least take on board the fact that the private sector creates a good working market for food. Just pointing out pretty irrelevant differences to shout down a valid point isn't particularly convincing. If there had always been a National Food Service then I'm sure you'd be on here arguing that it is impossible for the private sector to provide something as good.

Edited by Mr Jib Fingers

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As I said, railways and UK housing are better analogies because they are examples of what happens when something that can be monopolised is privatised.

The UK housing market is not a good analogy. It is heavily rigged. One of the key requirements for building a house (building land) is heavily regulated by the government. And for some strange reason, only big builder companies are able to acquire building land.

Food is difficult to monopolise.

Most things are difficult to monopolise unless the government interferes. Competition is natural. If someone sees you are making a killing, they want in on it too and start up a competing firm. Monopolies can only really exist if a state enforces it, for example communist states monopolising food production and distribution, etc. Or the UK government monopolising healthcare in the form of National insurance and the NHS.

I have 10 superstores inside 5 miles of me all importing globalised food. That's why it's cheap.

Are you sure that is the only reason? Maybe it is also because the government is not monopolising food and it actually has policies in place to prevent monopolies in this sector. For example "price fixing" is against the law. Competition drives down prices, local and globally.

If I only had 1 and that was my only option, and it was only selling locally produced food, that would be the equivalent of how a hospital functions.

You are describing how a hospital functions in a state monopoly healthcare system (like the NHS). You forgot to mention long waiting times and bad service. In a private health care system you would have multiple smaller hospitals all competing for your business. You can expect short waiting times and good service, because they want to attract costumers and they know if they give bad service, you can go somewhere else.

Privatising the NHS would not suddenly see another 9 hospitals open up near me, competing with cheap imports to drive down prices.

Why not. There are lots of businesses where you have to have facilities and staff in the UK, but they still remain cheap (mainly due to competition and lack of monopolies). For example your local barber and local organically grown produce.

I get the feeling that you are simply not willing to accept the truth. That's ok. The truth is quite ugly and change is scary.

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The UK housing market is not a good analogy. It is heavily rigged. One of the key requirements for building a house (building land) is heavily regulated by the government. And for some strange reason, only big builder companies are able to acquire building land.

Most things are difficult to monopolise unless the government interferes. Competition is natural. If someone sees you are making a killing, they want in on it too and start up a competing firm. Monopolies can only really exist if a state enforces it, for example communist states monopolising food production and distribution, etc. Or the UK government monopolising healthcare in the form of National insurance and the NHS.

Are you sure that is the only reason? Maybe it is also because the government is not monopolising food and it actually has policies in place to prevent monopolies in this sector. For example "price fixing" is against the law. Competition drives down prices, local and globally.

You are describing how a hospital functions in a state monopoly healthcare system (like the NHS). You forgot to mention long waiting times and bad service. In a private health care system you would have multiple smaller hospitals all competing for your business. You can expect short waiting times and good service, because they want to attract costumers and they know if they give bad service, you can go somewhere else.

Why not. There are lots of businesses where you have to have facilities and staff in the UK, but they still remain cheap (mainly due to competition and lack of monopolies). For example your local barber and local organically grown produce.

I get the feeling that you are simply not willing to accept the truth. That's ok. The truth is quite ugly and change is scary.

Oh boy.... it's pretty obvious you don't understand the underpinnings of how monopolies work and how some industries are "natural" monopolies. Healthcare being one of them.

You won't get multiple competing hospitals because hospitals are very capital intensive business, that cannot easily move if a location is not profitable, without fungible premisis (i.e. a building that is a hospital cannot easily be converted to something else), benefit hugely from a concentration of scale at a given locality, and also benefit hugely from concentrations of expertise. Thus the tendancy is to always have large hospitals separated by significant distances with each one more less just serving a given region (note that this is not the same as outpatient hospitals or local doctors). It does not matter which country you go to this model of large hospitals operates.

This a classic example of what is known as a natural monopoly.

Privatizing healthcare does not work and cannot ever work. The best you can get is some type of mixed model. A completely private system is and always will be an epic failure.

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I presume those who want to privatise the NHS because they think they'll suddenly get another 10 hospitals on their doorstep have never owned a pet then or had a tooth pulled?

I've got a dentist who does NHS work and private. Same dentist using the same tools. I had a bridge made privately and my bill came through at £230 odd quid. Not bad I thought. Turns out I'd been billed as if I was NHS, and the company who billed my dentist had charged her NHS rate as well.

The same bridge made "privately" by the same manufacturer? My dentist was charged more than twice as much and in total I paid over £1000. "Does the private rate subsidise the NHS rate?" I enquired. Nope... that's just how it works.

Don't like it? Why not go to a cheaper dentist you say? Not possible. Two companies have bought up all the local dentists near me and now have the monopoly. Mine still does NHS patients they had from years ago but hasn't accepted new ones in years and there have been no NHS dentist in the area for ages. Prices keep going up and up though. How lovely.

Exactly the same has happened for vets in my area. One big company has come in and bought the others out. Prices have sky-rocketed. Nothing anyone can do*.

I think you're all nutters frankly (particularly having lived through the joys of the US healthcare system many years ago), but each to their own.

(*Except sell their pets and never smile obviously.)

Edited by byron78

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Don't like it? Why not go to a cheaper dentist you say? Not possible. Two companies have bought up all the local dentists near me and now have the monopoly.

And yet this wouldn't be allowed in the food industry.

I think you're all nutters frankly (particularly having lived through the joys of the US healthcare system many years ago), but each to their own.

Why bring up the US system when it has already been pointed out to you that it is a state run cartel rather than the free market system that you're arguing against? At least try and read the posts of people you are branding nutters first.

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And yet this wouldn't be allowed in the food industry.

Why bring up the US system when it has already been pointed out to you that it is a state run cartel rather than the free market system that you're arguing against? At least try and read the posts of people you are branding nutters first.

It wouldn't happen in the food industry for precisely the reasons I've outlined - a monopoly is impossible there. In health care it's almost a given in most areas of the UK outside of big cities (and even then I doubt new hospitals would be built - the existing ones would just be sold off so that at best most cities would have two hospitals "competing". Many would only have one and effectively no competition at all - that's the death knell of a functional private market right there. It's easier to monopolise than both dental and vetenarian treatments and would rapidly happen).

Apologies for bringing up the US system but it's unfortunately my only direct experience of a private health service. It certainly didn't feel like a state run cartel, and if it is I don't think it's the state leading the cartel, more the cartel leading the state.

If other people have better examples of a really functional private system I'd be more than happy to take a look.

Edited by byron78

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And yet this wouldn't be allowed in the food industry.

Why bring up the US system when it has already been pointed out to you that it is a state run cartel rather than the free market system that you're arguing against? At least try and read the posts of people you are branding nutters first.

Ok then I'm interested what would a free market healthcare system look like?

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I presume those who want to privatise the NHS because they think they'll suddenly get another 10 hospitals on their doorstep have never owned a pet then or had a tooth pulled?

I've got a dentist who does NHS work and private. Same dentist using the same tools. I had a bridge made privately and my bill came through at £230 odd quid. Not bad I thought. Turns out I'd been billed as if I was NHS, and the company who billed my dentist had charged her NHS rate as well.

The same bridge made "privately" by the same manufacturer? My dentist was charged more than twice as much and in total I paid over £1000. "Does the private rate subsidise the NHS rate?" I enquired. Nope... that's just how it works.

Don't like it? Why not go to a cheaper dentist you say? Not possible. Two companies have bought up all the local dentists near me and now have the monopoly. Mine still does NHS patients they had from years ago but hasn't accepted new ones in years and there have been no NHS dentist in the area for ages. Prices keep going up and up though. How lovely.

Exactly the same has happened for vets in my area. One big company has come in and bought the others out. Prices have sky-rocketed. Nothing anyone can do*.

I think you're all nutters frankly (particularly having lived through the joys of the US healthcare system many years ago), but each to their own.

(*Except sell their pets and never smile obviously.)

Living in a small village in the middle of nowhere has its pros and cons.

Pros:

1. Less crowded

2. Cheaper houses

3. Less pollution

4. Low crime.

5. etc

Cons.

1. Lower variety of shops.

2. Evil dentists and vets that have a monopoly in the village

3. Lower salaries and fewer jobs.

4. No football stadium (this can also be in the pros section..)

5. Etc.

You have made the decision to live far away from civilisation. Enjoy the pros and live with the cons. Sounds to me you want the best of all words, the cake, the icing and the cherry. This is not possible in the real world unfortunately.

Just because you don't want a monopoly in your small village, don't force a monopoly on the rest of us.

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Ok then I'm interested what would a free market healthcare system look like?

Just looking at Europe, The Netherlands has had a private system since 2005 paid for using insurance. Not sure how "private" it is however. It does seem to be performing well.

From wikipedia:

The most notable development in this area has been the Netherlands, which in 2005 moved to a system whereby all citizens are forced to take out private healthcare insurance rather than social insurance

From wikipedia:

Based on public statistics, patient polls, and independent research the Netherlands arguably has the best health care system of 32 European countries. In 2009, Health Consumer Powerhouse research director, Dr. Arne Bjornberg, commented: [1] “As the Netherlands [is] expanding [its] lead among the best performing countries, the [Euro Health Consumer] Index indicates that the Dutch might have found a successful approach. It combines competition for funding and provision within a regulated framework. There are information tools to support active choice among consumers. The Netherlands [has] started working on patient empowerment early, which now clearly pays off in many areas. And politicians and bureaucrats are comparatively far removed from operative decisions on delivery of Dutch healthcare services!”

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