A herd pf private equity pigs (PEP’s) are lining up at the NHS trough. The government plans to strip hospitals of the services they provide, and give them to PEP’s, which borrow money to finance their acquisition, hoping the value of their asset increases, so as to sell it at a profit. In ordinary life, this would be termed gambling. Yet, PEP’s are part of the political establishment, so honest language does not apply.
Hospitals can be an attractive investment as the industry moves toward fee-for-service medicine – a paraphrase of a recent American report on ‘healthcare investment opportunities’, which states that hospitals will need to reduce costs, as patients are diverted to services run by PEP’s, and ‘expand other business lines’. The mind boggles. Turn ward 25 into a disco?
Cost cutting is already underway. The mass entry of off-the-peg foreign nurses into the UK, whose certificates are checked by the equivalent of a 90 year old bat, will be followed by the butchering of the ‘body nursing’ into as many parts as the ‘body hospital’. The debate as to ‘old style’ nurse trainining being more ‘practical’ than what transpires today is ridiculous because it is superfluous. Just as hospital services will be disjointed, so will nursing skills.
Diplomas for specialities, no room for nurses ‘generally’ trained. “Oh”, squeals nurse Jill, ‘this will put patients at risk, diploma nurses will not have done enough research”. Get real Jill, PEP’s will decide who they want to employ, and at what price, and will not give the proverbial about what stamp is on their employee’s certificate, or whether it is even a genuine one. The recent move to impose care assistant training as a prerequisite to nurse training is nothing but a Trojan Horse – the certificated care assistant will be offered training for an enhanced certificate, enabling them to undertake a considerable number of nursing tasks. The computer programmes available to hospital managers are being designed to plan for the cheapest ward skills mix that can achieve designated outcomes.
To again paraphrase the investment reports advice as to the most succulent parts of healthcare systems to feed on:
Pain management: There is a ‘substantial increase in interest’ in pain management clinics. Millions suffer from acute and chronic pain.
Anesthesia: This is another ‘red hot’ area of growth, it must be, as that bastion of ethical banking, Goldman Sachs, are investing in it. Get out your credit card!
Surgery centers: Movement of surgical procedures from hospitals to your ‘local surgery centre’ reduces spending – less staff, lower pay. Hundreds of PEP’s are lining up to chew on this particularly juicy joint of the NHS. This is the sirloin steak of privatisation. Need that op,then ‘make a contribution to costs’ (the initial softening up gambit), followed by ‘if you really need it, cough up the cash’.
Urgent care: This industry is ‘rapidly growing’ because it is ‘cost-effective’ (less staff, lower pay), and convenient. Well, just as you go online to find the nearest and cheapest shop, you will google to find where to take your sick child. American urgent care centres are expected to make more than $18 billion in 2017. You would have to be an inhabitant of the Island of the Blind to believe this is not the chosen path for the UK.
Dental practice: There is ‘tremendous interest’ in this, as dentistry will shift toward group practice, with American companies making annual revenue exceeding $100 million.
Health information technology: electronic health records systems will be mined for ‘profit opportunities’. ‘Mr. Smith, we see you have problems with your weight, try our new anti-hunger pills’.
Mobile health: smartphone users worldwide will be bleeped when their blood pressure rises, probably after receiving a bill for this service, which will become a compulsory part of your ‘treatment package’ – no phone, no pills.
Rehabilitation and addiction: Big money here! Consumers need this product, millions of them, especially the 44 million Americans of food stamps, and the retired teachers of Athens who forage gargage bins. Families are ‘willing to spend’ large sums to fund the treatment of their ‘loved ones’. ‘Mr. Smith, don’t you love your daughter?, that will be £10,000’.
Physical therapy: The demand for physical therapy services has mushroomed in line with (drug supported) life expectancy. Costs can be cut by offering physio instead of surgery. Well, this is what they say, and older people are more likely to ‘flash the cash’ – they are not drowning in a river of student debt, and do not have a 95% mortgage hanging over their vitals.
Medical Devices: ‘sales are expected to grow’ – orthopedic and other biologic implants for the elderly. PEP’s as Frankenstein.
Home care: substantial growth here – ‘we need lower-cost alternatives to hospitals and nursing homes’, so more 15 minutes a day visits for the lonely granny, more agencies slurping from the swill of this particuale trough. Expect amalgamations, with PEP’s taking over this market, as they did the care home sector.
Cancer care: This will shift from inpatient services to ‘cost-cutting outpatient services’. A high profit area will be radiation therapy.
Chronic disease: A large amount of money is spent on asthma, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The current mantra is that most of these diseases can be prevented through ‘changes in personal behavior’. PEP’s will cash in on compulsory ‘treatment programmes’. ‘Mr. Smith, your smartphone has recorded you purchasing a three litre bottle of strong cider, please report to our commandant tomorrow, or your benefits will cease’.
Wound care: The global wound care industry is worth $21 billion, and PEP’s will offer ‘cost-effective’ wound treatment methods, rather than ‘preferred’ treatment methods. Envisage the propaganda, ‘if honey was good enough for our ancestors to smear on their wounds, it’s surely good enough for us’, though they will use cheap sugar solutions, and claim it is as effective.
Hospices: In America, between 2000 and 2009, 80% of new hospices were for-profit. The ‘hospice industry’ is benefiting from an aging population and is ‘ripe for consolidation’, with opportunity for investors to ‘gain market share’ and make profits. Yes, PEP’s are canibals, they will feed on the flesh of their own kind.
Nursing Homes: A worldwide business worth $180 billion per year (fueled by an unlimited conveyor belt of those on drug support), despite ‘regulatory investigations’ – but, essentially, no cameras to witness the mass abuse meted out by PEP’s employing too few staff.
There it is, the plan revealed, but nothing to be done, for the majority of people who work in the NHS, and the timid unions who shamelessly take their subscriptions, not only live on the Island of the Blind, but on the Island of Blind Mice … see how they run from the carving knife, which is to cut the NHS into tasty pieces for blood-sucking allies of the political elite.
Healthcare workers of the world unite!
Resist the butchery of the NHS!
End capitalist exploitation of the elderly in care homes!
End the indoctrination of nursing students by government mouthpieces disguised as lecturers!
Fight the NMC’s persecution of nurses who have been victimised by PEP’s!
Be a revolutionary nurse (RN), and oppose the the forces of exploitation!
lenin nightingale 2015