A pro-Lansley GP admits the climate is getting worse for his failing health bill, while the Daily Mail claim there is a "great cuts myth", reports Dominic Browne.
Jonathan Munday GP is a man with an unusual CV. He has a homepage bearing a Latin motto, under a coat of arms, that reads “Non Angelus sed Anglus” – No Angel but at least I’m English; was a Tory councilor; and his interests include conservative politics, heraldry and freemasonry.
Today’s Guardian NHS reforms live blog reveals that he also chairs the board of the Victoria Commissioning Consortium and is getting “seriously worried” about the “political pressure” on Andrew Lansley, as it may mean that the government will “abort GP commissioning entirely”.
So he has taken it upon himself to send an e-mail to other medical professionals calling on all chairs of commissioning consortia to join him in writing an open letter to various media outlets in support of the Lansley health bill.
Dr Munday writes:
“I feel that GP consortia, who have most to lose from the Press listening to vested interests in the rest of the medical establishment, must take some urgent action to take back the political initiative within the “pause” and to enable the government to proceed with the reforms with the maximum flexibility and independence for GP consortia.”
Mr Munday also wants to stress:
“There is obviously some political urgency about this as the climate is getting worse daily.”
John Healey, shadow health secretary, told Left Foot Forward:
“It is clear that the Tories have lost the political argument on health. This attempt to rally supporters at the margins contrasts with the very wide criticism of David Cameron’s plans for the NHS.”
As we reported here, the NHS is experiencing longer Accident and Emergency and hospital waiting times than they have had in years, and The King’s Fund, a respected and independent think tank, have highlighted “significant concern” among NHS finance directors, the majority of which admitted they were unlikely to meet productivity targets due to the impact of £20 billion “efficiency savings”; some even mentioned ward closures as being necessary to meet targets.
Mr Munday is of course entitled to his political opinions, and to his xenophobic latin motos and even to fight so-called “vested interests” in the name of his.., well, vested interests, so in the progressive spirit we would like to cheer Mr Munday up by directing him to… The Daily Mail. According to the Mail there is a “great cuts myth”.
The Mail are currently priding themselves on exposing this myth after finding out that the NHS, the worlds third largest employer, is still advertising jobs.
The Mail, using the language of Mr Munday, comment:
“The reason the vested interest groups are so furious is a requirement that – in return for this increased funding (0.4 per cent in real terms) – the NHS must make ‘efficiency savings’ worth £15 billion to £20 billion over the next four years.”
They also suggest that:
“Mr Lansley should point out that, as yet, there is no evidence that anybody is suffering.”
In fact there is the evidence and advice from experts which suggests the whole NHS is suffering, meaning that patients are being denied key treatments and children’s lives are being put at risk by a lack of NHS funding.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.