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Universal Healthcare is our Best Defence in a Pandemic – Why we Must Oust the Tories to Save our NHS.
Machiavellian sidekick and chief influencer of the PM, Dominic Cummings, revealed that: “Tory MPs largely do not care about these poorer people. They don’t care about the NHS.” Sure Dom, we knew that. The UK population are not really that stupid; which is why they did not suffer a wholesale conversion to Tory values in the delusional belief that serial liar Boris Johnson would usher in a new Government of prosperity for the poor. The “Borrowed Votes” scam will evaporate when the reality of the next budget hits and the excuses are trotted out; those “bumps in the road” caused by a vindictive, (non compliant), EU and an economic downturn from the Corona Virus.
As decimated as our NHS has become under Tory austerity cuts, it does still provide universal access: not for much longer if the Tories have their way. There is no time when the universality of our healthcare safety net is more important than when we are faced with the threat of a global pandemic. How soon will Britain be forced to adopt key elements of US business practice to comply with American trade deal demands as they pick over the residual carcass of “little England” abandoned by the EU? Those economic and regulatory changes will expose us all to the dangers of ruthless Corporate greed on steroids, starting with the attack on our NHS.
I speak from my own experience in US Hospitals after making the conscious choice to work in “overwhelmed public facilities,” the indigent’s emergency care of last resort for those who cannot afford medical insurance. Jackson Memorial in Miami has the second busiest ED in the US after Cook County and state-of-the-art Ryder Trauma saw so much “penetrating trauma” that it was selected as the best placed to train US combat medics before deployment to overseas conflicts. Here in the UK we are concerned when a four hour waiting time is breached; at Jackson it was not uncommon to see half a dozen crash victims strapped to backboards for well over eight hours! That is the new direction for UK healthcare under the management of US Corporations.
In America people delay or avoid costly Medical care. Aside from the harsh realities faced by those who cannot afford prompt treatment what is the greatest threat posed by the “for profit” Healthcare model? The impoverished indigent, who fall through the safety net, represent a fertile breeding ground in which deadly infections can flourish undetected and untreated, steadily gaining a grip among the lower echelons of society who must prioritize the need to keep working no matter how sick they feel. This is not my personal doom fuelled fantasy projection, it’s the sombre reality as already proven through the example of the spread of multi-drug resistant TB among the homeless population.
While the Tories are working out where they can cut corners by denying care to the undocumented, or making it a lot harder to access care, they are heading in the wrong direction towards a target that will endanger us all. The other components of the US Corporate stranglehold on Healthcare are equally troubling with a mandatory fanatical work ethic that does not allow for sickness or taking time off. To strongly discourage staff from calling in sick American companies, including the top Hospitals, have a punitive policy that leads an employee into the disciplinary process if they call in sick for the third time in the same calendar year.
Such so called “Business Friendly” practices mean that staff rarely access any sick time that might be on offer through their employee benefit package at work; this means bigger profits for US Corporations and businesses. As these Corporations move into the UK market they will bring their toxic business friendly practices with them. Why should we be seriously concerned about such changes? Think about how that will impact the spread of a deadly virus within a population fearful of losing their job, worried about losing Healthcare coverage for their entire family that depends on maintaining their employment just as it does in the US.
When the “Occurrence Policy” was introduced at Johns Hopkins the innocuous title provoked jokes: “Oh, I think I’m about to occur!” But sick nurses treating vulnerable patients with compromised immune systems was no joke as the bugs spread in crowded changing rooms led to multiple staff members all functioning below par at the same time. The highly restrictive environment while scrubbed into surgery for hours at a time does not easily accommodate sick practitioners. This was a disastrous miscalculation in response to the relentless drive to remain competitive by reducing costs for increased profit in a private Healthcare system.
Another increased risk is posed when employees cannot stay home to care for a sick child; the bottom line is that in America sick means very sick or it must be ignored. That will mean sick children in schools and nurseries because a parent cannot afford to take time off. In the UK we are only just waking up to the harsh reality of how the growing legions on zero hours contract workers, who do not qualify for and sick benefit or support, will cope with the need for self isolation. Corporate greed got us into this mess and it is why we so desperately need a progressive government to ban zero hours contracts and the race towards US style business practices. A poetic warning re US style Healthcare:
PANDEMIC AGAINST THE POOR
Beware of those you do not treat,
A burden you chose not to meet,
They suffer alone and die in pain,
All for Corporate financial gain,
Infection’s fertile breeding ground,
This moral judgement wasn’t sound,
Too late to wonder why it spread,
So many sick are now all dead!
We are not only travelling overseas a lot more, but our domestic journeys are getting longer too. American employees will think nothing of driving over an hour to get to and from work. Priced out of accommodation in London many Brits are now required to make lengthy commutes to jobs in the city. The more we travel the easier it is for bugs to spread exponentially across the country and around the world. “Think Green – Think Local” could do a lot more than cut our carbon emissions – it would cut risk. I sincerely doubt Oil & Gas subsidiary, Idox, would have prioritized a “Green New Deal” progressive party when they were “managing” our voting system.
The vested interests in Fossil Fuels, Pharmaceuticals and giant US Healthcare Conglomerates that have bought and paid for Brexit and the far right Tory agenda for delivering our headlong crash out of the EU are too selfish and short-sighted to show concern over the staggering number of impoverished and vulnerable people who will die if the Corona Virus takes hold. Already the dramatic surge in precarious employment, exacerbated by Universal Credit coercion and means testing, has greatly increased the overall risk of spreading this contagion. Lack of Social Care provision puts a strain on our already overburdened NHS while the social cleansing of London and our growing homeless population has dramatically impacted our ability to deal with a pandemic crisis.
All of these dreadful miscalculations were consciously implemented to serve Tory greed. We had the opportunity in December 2019 to rid this country of the Tory scourge, but that hopeful future was stolen in a rigged vote. It is now too late to avoid the worse ramifications of the last decade of Tory neglect and unnecessary suffering caused by ideologically driven austerity. But, allowing the Tories to sell off our NHS to US Healthcare Corporations will not leave us better prepared to meet future pandemic challenges. We must act now to prevent a repetition of the suffering this Tory Government will once again inflict on this country. It is not too late to challenge the Stolen, not “borrowed votes,” that could totally delegitimize Boris Johnson’s grip on power; please read, sign, share and Link to this Petition:
2019 TORY LANDSLIDE VICTORY DEMANDS URGENT NATIONWIDE INVESTIGATION.