Tories: NHS will be free at point of delivery

Like all great inventions language is a wonderful tool to elevate mankind while simultaneously a weapon for reprobates and swindlers.  Since the first word was spoken orators have informed and educated, and also misinformed and deceived; since the first word was written essayists have done similarly.

Politicians, often, prefer a criminal’s weapon to humanity’s tool.

A repeated mantra of the extremely dishonest Tory government and its enablers in media and at think-tanks is

NHS will be free at point of delivery.” 

They say it whenever anyone states Tory intent to privatise NHS.  Their use of the phrase is purposeful use of language as trickery, obfuscation and deceit.

What Tories mean by the phrase is that if, for example, someone has cancer, or suffers a heart attack, or needs a new hip, or is severely injured in an accident, or has hearing or sight that is declining, or any disease, injury or organ failure that needs treatment then, yes, there is no charge but the ambulance might take three hours to arrive and then be stuck in a queue at A&E for several hours, or cancer treatment is available but not for two years, or treatments for other conditions or diseases are available but not for five years, and the wait, whether measured in hours or years, hastens death or development of a disease beyond a point where it is treatable.

That is what is happening today. 

Systemic destruction of NHS by Tory government is killing people every day.  However, it is “free at point of delivery.” 

Grotesque manipulation of language is used to deny privatisation (destruction) of NHS.  If vital services, whose existence and capabilities are a matter of life and death, are ruined deliberately to make them ineffective and to persuade (force) people (who can afford it) to use privateer healthcare instead then that is privatisation of healthcare.  Tories claim, with knowing acute mendacity, NHS is “not being privatised” but the reality is that supply of healthcare is being privatised.

Banker Sajid Javid, current Tory Health Secretary, released a statement on March 6th (2022) wherein he dipped into the bag of libertarian contortions of language and pulled out 

we will enshrine a ‘Right to Choose’ – giving NHS patients more options for the treatment they need.”

If we first take the underlined phrases at face value then his comments seem demented.  If a patient requires necessary treatment why would a “right to choose” or “more options” be useful?  A patient wants the best option and trusts a doctor to know what that is.

Via criminal fiddling of words Javid used positive-sounding phrases to imply a very different set-up to his intent. 

In an article for Murdoch’s Times Caroline Wheeler and Javid shared a cacophony of misrepresentation, misdirection, cons and lies.  Wheeler’s role was to help Javid with misinformation and marketing of his swindle.  

She mentioned the appalling delays for patients who need operations and “lack of NHS capacity and staff shortages.”  She noted that “6.1 million people were waiting for routine hospital treatment in December 2021” and “waiting list targets to treat most patients within 18 weeks have not been met since February 2016” but nowhere in her article did she blame or criticise Tory governments since 2010 for the problems.  She presented Javid as someone offering solutions to a problem.  She went beyond client journalism to servant journalism.

[With] the proposals Javid will follow Tony Blair, who put patient choice at the heart of his attempt to tackle waiting lists when he was prime minister in the late nineties.”

The phrase “patient choice” can be spoken only by someone whose interaction with truth and logic is fatal for them.

Everybody in UK knows that some operations are available sooner in private healthcare than NHS and they know that there are medical procedures that are not available at NHS.  If that were not the case then there would be no point to private healthcare in UK.  That is, everybody knows the private option exists.  Most people choose not to take that option.  Most people cannot afford to.

But, Javid’s deception depends on a presentation that imagines a world where patients, the public, are unaware of private healthcare.  Wheeler was given a copy of a speech by him.  She quoted him saying 

The NHS constitution says already that you as a patient have the right to ask for an alternative provider for your treatment.  In practice no one really gets that right.  It’s not really focused on — and even if an individual wanted to exercise that right at the moment it’s just left up to them to do all the homework and they’re not really supported in that decision.  For me that’s not acceptable.  I want to enshrine that right so that every patient of the NHS, once they’ve been diagnosed and they need a certain treatment, they are given options, they have a choice.  It could be that they stick with their local provider, it could be maybe another NHS provider.  And if it is another NHS provider, let’s say they have to travel for that, they should be supported in their travel costs, maybe accommodation costs, including maybe for someone to go with them to support them. Or it could be an independent provider in the independent sector.  The point is that people should have that choice and it should be made easy for them to exercise that right.”

Hacking through Javid’s manipulation of language – “enshrine that right,” “they have a choice,” “independent provider in the independent sector” – revealed the real purpose: Persuade patients to go private.

The “right to choose” is worse than a false choice.  It is use of NHS staff time to promote private healthcare to patients combined with pressurising patients to “choose” the private option by implying that, otherwise, their health or their life could be in danger.

He added that the “option” for patients to choose private healthcare “will help significantly with the elective backlog.”  The “backlog” is entirely a consequence of deliberate destruction of NHS by Tory government.

Wheeler’s adherence to Tory misinformation permeated her comments in between quotes from Javid.  She said there are “billions of pounds of new money to reduce waits.”  That line has the same relationship with truth as Tories’ claim of forty new hospitals.

In his statement Javid said “this week I will be setting out my vision for modernisation and reform of our health service.”  Whenever a Tory uses the word “reform” related to a vital public service it is analogous to a gangster leaving a horse’s severed head in someone’s bed.  Wheeler quoted him using another nonsense phrase – “efficiency performance” – as he claimed he wanted to determine why some NHS trusts “perform” better than others.

The focus is what I call efficiency performance and is around how can we take the very best of the NHS, the trusts that are the most efficient, and replicate that across England.”

Javid is a banker.  He is a banker without morals.  His intent is to nudge people toward private healthcare.  Enhancing healthcare industry’s profits is his only aim.

Free at the point of delivery is meaningless if the NHS has been annihilated on purpose by Tories.  They know what they are doing when they use the phrase.  

With Javid’s plans not only will patients suffer even more but also they will be under pressure to go private: “Pay huge sums of money to these Tory donors registered in tax havens or else you might DIE.”  That is the Javid’s message.

Tories: NHS will be free at point of delivery

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