The politics of health reform are becoming ever more tangled. And the more tangled they become, the worse it will be for the Government. Last week I argued that, if David Cameron genuinely believes that the Health and Social Care Bill really will drive standards up and costs down, he should ignore the doubters and keep going. However, fresh YouGov research underlines the risks that he is running.
Health reform is perhaps the most divisive issue in Britain's government... and there is another health issue that the Prime Minister and the Health Secretary do not agree on: the new Alcohol Strategy, which is expected to be announced any day now. David Cameron wants a minimum price to be imposed on cheap supermarket alcohol, while Andrew Lansley prefers self regulation.
If the NHS was a patient, it would be as if it went, feeling a bit queasy, to see its GP more than 20 years ago. Without warning, it was sent straight to hospital, kept in, operated on, helped to recover, operated on again, and again, and then again.
Here's my advice to the prime minister: if you are privately, honestly confident that the Bill will unquestionably be good for the NHS, stick to your guns. But if, away from the public gaze, you harbour doubts and fear that the massed ranks of doctors and nurses might just possibly be right, then pull the Bill.
But the NHS is large, operationally and technically complex, close to the public's heart and contains ranks of organised stakeholders with diverse views. With public satisfaction levels at an all-time high, creating a mandate for change on the huge scale envisaged by the White paper was always going to be hard. Add in the bomb of explicitly promoting more competition and the backdrop of a very challenging budget settlement for the NHS, a coalition government, and the difficulty multiplies.
While I'm no expert in psychological behaviour, I'm left wondering just which one of these Cameron and Lansley are suffering from. Ever since announcing the healthcare reform bill some months ago it has been opposed by over 250,000 medical health professionals, nearly every opposition party, every official medical association, the general public and even, this past week, members of the Conservative Party who would usually jump at such proposals.
Let us examine the political thesis put forward by Lucy from Lymington who, commenting at Mail Online upon the latest anti-Cameron eruption from Mount...
Under pressure over his disastrous and unwanted NHS reorganisation at Prime Minister's Questions today - a reorganisation which is diverting billions away from the frontline and which risks 6,000 nurses being laid off - David Cameron repeatedly gave misleading answers about the NHS under the Tories.
The government's Health and Social Care Bill needs to be binned and Andrew Lansley needs to be replaced as the Secretary of State for Health.
Last week, we learned that not only are vast swathes of the general public feeling nervous about the Conservative's Healthcare Reform Bill, but so are healthcare professionals. Several healthcare unions have started to sharpen their scalpels.
The British people are rightly proud of their NHS and will campaign to save it from confused, misinformed and ideologically driven changes. By so doing, families will be spared the worry and the misery of having to find the money to treat a sick child like my parents had to do.
A lovely thing happened in the world of UK politics yesterday. That's an odd sentence to write, I admit. Up until yesterday, if the adage "start as you mean to go on" has any bearing to it, then based on events so far, politics in 2012 is due to be a year round serving of uneasy quiche.
Like many other doctors, I am not against the principles of the Health and Social Care Bill or against the theoretical restructuring of the NHS. What worries me is the potentially misguided and hasty way it is being proposed. One only has to look at the outcome of the privatisation of rail services - dire quality and ever inflating fares.
Morning Lemmings and a slight caveat before we start: I had to wake up really, horribly, stupidly early on Thursday morning so I was half asleep when ...
Telling people to eat less and exercise more and that they just need to use more willpower doesn't work. We need more people talking about how to achieve the changes for the long term.
BORN under the NHS, but would like to die privately. Lloyd Evans, a columnist for The Spectator, used that description of himself when he was a perfor...