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Build for the future, don't rebuild the past

06 Jun 2007 - JG

"-Political meddling has brought the NHS to its knees-." So says Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee. "-We are angry with the government for a woeful dereliction of duty - towards patients, towards the profession and towards the future. We have lost all confidence that the government can solve the problems it has created-." Pretty damning stuff. Today Patricia Hewitt will confirm that the NHS under-spent by £500m and Mr Fielden is accusing the Secretary of State of panicking at the prospect of another year of overspend - "-It takes weeks to cut, but years to rebuild trust.-" Looks like it is going to be another tough day for Patricia Hewitt, though at least she hasn't got many of them left!

Mr Fielden also calls for the NHS to be rebuilt from within, stating that if the government does not allow this they will be "-rightly...condemned for destroying the best piece of social capital the country has ever had-." I agree with Mr Fielden that the health service was a great piece of social capital for the country. When Hitler got his hands on the Beveridge report during the war he was told that it was far superior to anything the Germans had come up with. Clement Attlee has gone down as one of the great, if the not the great, peace time leaders for adopting it. But this was over 60 years ago. Should the NHS really be rebuilt or more to the point, does anyone actually genuinely believe that it can be rebuilt? What we need is a system that is relevant and fit for 21st century, not a relic from post-war 1940's Britain.

Topics: Health

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