Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Lib Dem election promises “not subject to legitimate expectation” either

Those who voted Liberal Democrat in the last general election presumably did so on the basis of their manifesto – that, Like New Labour’s, promised a referendum on the European Constitution.

Now their new Leader, Nick Clegg, who holds his seat as a result of that election, is also disingenuously claiming, like Gordon Brown, that the microscopic differences in the Lisbon Treaty somehow remove any need for a popular vote. He wants Liberal Democrat MPs to help New Labour block an amendment demanding a referendum and force the treaty through.

So now you know. With Nick Clegg in charge you can’t believe the lies the Fib Dems print in their manifesto any more than you can New Labour’s.

They will apparently say whatever is expedient to persuade people to vote for them - and then do as it suits them with no regard to their vain promises.

And they wonder why the citizen is loosing faith in politicians…

Quote of the day

“ If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

Thomas Jefferson

Private treatment initiative underutilised by NHS, rollout halted.

It seems that Independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs), created in a bid to cut waiting lists, to take care of minor surgery and diagnostic tests such knee and hip replacements, hernias and cataract operations, are being under utilised. Some are being passed only half the work they agreed to handle.

This is hardly surprising when you realise that it is not in the interests of cash strapped NHS hospitals to pass them patients - as they are paid per person treated and have to compete for the patients.

Under this arrangement It makes economic sense for NHS hospitals to hang on to as many patients as possible, even though this may disadvantage the patient, as it may involve, at a minimum, much longer waits for treatment.

Thus the contractual arrangements have the, presumably, unintentional side effect of sabotaging the initiative.

David Worskett, representing private health providers, pointed out that part of the problem was also due to GPs being reluctant to utilise them in some areas.

There have been two waves of ISTCs opened since they were announced in 2003. Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, has scrapped some of the second wave because of ‘lack of demand’, despite waiting lists. He has also pulled the plug on the third wave.

This may not necessarily be seen as entirely bad, or to be avoided, by NHS supporters who are vehemenently opposed to any private sector involvement on ideological grounds. It is also likely some employed within in the NHS may closely identify their interests with it’s remaining as it is.

Karen Jennings, of Unison stated: "This is money that should have gone into the NHS."