Wes Streeting’s NHS plans are typical of this charlatan

Wes Streeting looking annoyed at an NHS worker
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Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has enraged healthcare workers and activists with his latest NHS proposals. His comments came in the Rupert Murdoch-owned the Times – and it’s pretty obvious why he’s coming up with the Tory-lite plans he has.

Streeting: greedy GPs getting ‘money for old rope’

The Times published its interview with Streeting on Friday 6 January. Amid a swathe of commentary on the NHS (and the predictable ‘I’m just like you!” anecdotes about growing up on a council estate), Labour’s shadow health secretary proposed some bold plans for GPs (general practitioners). The Times wrote that:

With a record two million people waiting more than a month to see a GP, the shadow health secretary says: “I think we need to completely rethink what primary care looks like.” GPs should no longer be “the sole gatekeeper” to the NHS, he says. “I’m convinced that pharmacy has a big role to play. This is where competing interests among providers might not always work in the interests of patients. I can well understand why there are GPs who look with anxiety at pronouncements from politicians that community pharmacies should be doing more vaccination or more prescribing, but that’s because they’re thinking about their own income and their own activity. Vaccinations are money for old rope, and a good money spinner, and not unreasonably GP partners are thinking about the finances of their own practice. That’s totally reasonable but what matters to the patient is fast, accessible care, wherever that is.”

Straight out of the blocks, people pointed out numerous problems with Streeting’s idea that GPs were thinking about “their own income”:

Streeting also wants to make GPs salaried NHS workers – which one GP took issue with:

Self-referral chaos?

Then, Streeting wants patients to be able to self-refer to specialists, and not have to go through their GP. He stated:

Sometimes it’s pretty obvious that you don’t need to see the [family] doctor. I had a lump on the back of my head, during the pandemic. I needed to see a dermatologist but in order to get an appointment with a dermatologist, I had to go through the GP. What a waste of my GP’s time. I think there are some services where you ought to be able to self refer.

The lump could have been a tumour for all Dr Google knows, Wes – and you would have wasted a dermatologist’s time when the GP would have referred you to oncology straight away. Streeting’s nonsense about self-referral has also been heavily dragged on social media:

Streeting: feathering his own nest?

So, if Streeting doesn’t want GPs to do vaccinations, doesn’t want them to always have to refer patients, and thinks they’re only feathering their own nests, what the hell does he want them to do? Well, he has another bold plan, as the Times noted:

Instead of GP surgeries he wants modern health centres with a wider range of facilities “where you will have your family doctor, but you’ll also see nurses, you’ll see physiotherapists, you might go for a minor injury or a scan…

Mate, this LITERALLY already exists. In Beckenham, South London, for example, there’s a GP surgery with (shock) nurses, GPs, physios, extended appointment hours, and even minor surgery – and it’s accepting patients. This likely isn’t the case everywhere, but the point is that Streeting isn’t making some revelatory statement. His model already exists.

What Streeting is really doing with his plans is quite obvious to some people. As Dr Julia Grace from campaign group Every Doctor UK pointed out on Twitter:

Of course, Streeting’s position on the NHS comes with the caveat he’s accepted donations from a hedgefund manager with investments in private healthcare companies. Go figure.

If Streeting was so concerned about patients, why not commit to properly funding the NHS? He could aim to improve care for chronically ill and disabled people – an area where the NHS falls down. However, Streeting instead decides to attack GPs. Labour’s shadow health secretary is a charlatan of the highest order – and it didn’t take much to show this, either.

Featured image via STV News – YouTube and Sky News – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. We’re so used to referring to our National Health Service as “the NHS” we’ve forgotten what has actually happened. We lost the *National Health Service* in 1979 when Thatcher introduced fake ‘competition’ into a natural monopoly. (There’s no such thing as ‘competition’ in a monopoly!) What’s been happening ever since has seen every successive government tinkering with the (ideological) “business model”. From Major introducing PFI’s and Blair’s escalation of said, to the Health and Social Care Act, every “Health Minister” has tried to make “the NHS” *profitable*! From “efficiency savings”, to ‘outsourcing’, to asset stripping and giving hospital carparks to private companies and charging hospital staff to use them, “Health Ministers” have sought only to collect revenue from healthcare. Putting money into “the NHS” is about looking for ‘returns’, like any other business investment. (Ask yourself why “the NHS” has to have a “marketing strategy”!)

      What we should be calling for is the return of our *National Health Service*! Paid for with OUR taxes! “The NHS” is nothing more than a trading logo. It’s a piece of marketing jargon to distract us from the FACT that we no longer have a National Health Service. It’s propaganda. We shouldn’t be “saving the NHS”, we should be demanding the return of our National Health Service! Once we can understand that we’ve been deceived by the blue logo in order to convince us that “it’s so very expensive, we can’t really afford it!” bullshit, we might get to realise that we’ve already paid for it! And all the nonsense about “aging populations” and “Covid strains”, (or whatever,) disappears when we understand that no matter how big, or how old the population is, or gets, EVERYONE pays taxes! The money will always be there!

      I’m from a generation that had the full benefit of a fully funded National Health Service. GPs used to offer home visits. There were hospitals within a five minute drive from anywhere. Everything was available. I had a heart condition from birth and was monitored every six months until the age of nine. During this time, our family moved a number of times from North to South, East to West, and, without computers, my ‘notes’ followed us. I’m 69 this year and I have a new heart condition. I’ve struggled to get the same level of care! I’m having to wait a minimum of nine months for an AF ablation. “The NHS” is a mere shadow of our National Health Service, once the envy of the world!

    2. I, for one, every time Wes Streeting appears or in other ways is heard pontificating out the top of his head across the media in excitable expectation of becoming Keir Starmer’s boy-favourite Health Secretary ‘ere long has one coming out in scratchy hives through remembrance of Streeting’s unforgetable vilifications and rabid, spitting, spiteful defamations spat out all through and against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership. There’ll, of course be positives to the fellow as there always are with young bumptious, irritating little whippersnappers. But, I’m left with seeing the nasty, horrid little fey upstart that he is?

    3. You might find something to think about here….

      Labour MPs defend accepting tens of thousands from ‘suspicious’ firm

      Labour MPs have defended accepting funds from a little-known firm that has grown as one of Westminster’s largest political donors.

      Wes Streeting, Dan Jarvis, and Yvette Cooper have all stated that collecting tens of thousands of pounds from MPM Connect, which is part-owned by Peter Hearn, a Labour donor, but has no discernible line of business, was not illegal.

      Sky News and Tortoise disclosed, on Monday, that MPM Connect was one of two virtually completely unknown corporations that have donated substantial sums of money to MPs in recent years. IX Wireless, on the other hand, has given more than £100,000 to Conservative MPs since 2019.

      Simultaneously, all three Labour MPs issued statements defending the “gifts”, noting that they had been reported to parliamentary authorities. MPM Connect was described by Jarvis and Streeting as an “investment business in the employment sector,” despite the fact that the company has no website and has not responded to media inquiries regarding its investments.

      Al Mayadeen, 10 Jan 2021

      Full article : https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/labour-mps-defend-accepting-tens-of-thousands-from-suspiciou

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