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  1. #1

    Default Beginning to have second thoughts about the NHS

    This is a big topic and I really hope people arent going to turn it into a pop-libertarianism drone.

    The national health service in the UK ensures through a system of public/national insurance, collected like income taxes, that everyone has a free service at the point of delivery.

    It has historically meant that hospitals, GP clinics and health services are owned by the state, funded by taxation and that the NHS is one of the biggest employers in the UK (the biggest in NI were I live).

    This week Cameron's conservatives have announced that they plan to permit patients in dire need to "fast track" themselves into programmes where they will received "experimental treatments" and that the confidential information of patients will be shared with pharma-corp giants for research purposes.

    This whole thing has been spun that with these special treats the government is really spoiling us, like those choclates in the embassy advert. Although I'm not so sure.

    Using the public as resources to be exploited by powerful, international private interests seems wrong to me and to involve all sorts of perverse incentives.

    For instance what if genome patterns are discovered making entire populations of people "bad bets" for insurance? Doesnt matter in the UK unless privatisation, especially of insurance, really takes off but it matters elsewhere.

    With the UK considering a mandatory organ donation programme, which people opt out of rather than opt into, it leaves open all sorts of macabre organ sales like those written about in http://www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Shoppin...3166826&sr=8-1 which I posted about in another thread.

    Is this all inevitable? Are the benefits greater than the risks or costs? Is it just inevitable that commerce, including the dark side of commerce, is going to enter into all things including health?

  2. #2
    FigerPuppet
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    Sounds like silly conspiracy thinking on your part. "Experimental treatments" are quite important in cancer treatments, and of course the corporations - probably just the scientists - developing the experimental treatment should be allowed to look at the files of their patients.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    So long as it's voluntary, I don't see this being a problem in the here and now. I do worry about a government getting all lovey-dovey with a corporate interest though.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    So long as it's voluntary, I don't see this being a problem in the here and now. I do worry about a government getting all lovey-dovey with a corporate interest though.
    The idea is that the information of all patients in the NHS will be automatically shared with pharmaceutical companies, you're not going to be asked if you think its a good idea, I'm trying to think how this doesnt mean that everyone in the UK's medical records will be shared because the way the UK health services work if a private consultation or procedure is carried out it is liable to be within a public facility or shared facility or if its totally private facility and professionals it still could be a procedure which has been purchased by a public/state health board or trust. Its all interconnected.

    In exchange for this private pharmo-corps are permitting patients to use experimental drugs and procedures but I dont see how that's a straight exchange, you're getting to be a human guinea pig and they're going to get this your medical records therefore wont have to remunerate you personally for any findings which come out of your treatment which will have a consequence for sales elsewhere.

    I'm betting that it'll be the most vulnerable people it gets pitched to aswell, like people with terminal illnesses who're told this could improve your survival prospects or it could kill you stone dead, what do you think? I dont know what way it will work so that the company will be limited from liability, I'm imagining the taxpayer will foot the bill some how or manage the risks.

    It makes the government and the public seem even more like corporate whores or mere resources than I like to think about. I think of analogies with facebook, there was a cartoon of two pigs talking about how great their accomodation and circumstances were, it suggested that if you wherent the consumer you could be the produce.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The idea is that the information of all patients in the NHS will be automatically shared with pharmaceutical companies, you're not going to be asked if you think its a good idea, I'm trying to think how this doesnt mean that everyone in the UK's medical records will be shared because the way the UK health services work if a private consultation or procedure is carried out it is liable to be within a public facility or shared facility or if its totally private facility and professionals it still could be a procedure which has been purchased by a public/state health board or trust. Its all interconnected.

    In exchange for this private pharmo-corps are permitting patients to use experimental drugs and procedures but I dont see how that's a straight exchange, you're getting to be a human guinea pig and they're going to get this your medical records therefore wont have to remunerate you personally for any findings which come out of your treatment which will have a consequence for sales elsewhere.

    I'm betting that it'll be the most vulnerable people it gets pitched to aswell, like people with terminal illnesses who're told this could improve your survival prospects or it could kill you stone dead, what do you think? I dont know what way it will work so that the company will be limited from liability, I'm imagining the taxpayer will foot the bill some how or manage the risks.

    It makes the government and the public seem even more like corporate whores or mere resources than I like to think about. I think of analogies with facebook, there was a cartoon of two pigs talking about how great their accomodation and circumstances were, it suggested that if you wherent the consumer you could be the produce.
    Ah, I see then. That is worrisome. Is this actually law now or is it still being kicked around in Parliament?

    I don't know enough about the systems in the UK or how things work over there to comment intelligently but I'd be interested in the thoughts of the residents there on this law.
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    Ah, I see then. That is worrisome. Is this actually law now or is it still being kicked around in Parliament?

    I don't know enough about the systems in the UK or how things work over there to comment intelligently but I'd be interested in the thoughts of the residents there on this law.
    Oh this is set to happen, its been reported as the conservative government doing the public a favour and fast tracking treatment.

    Its kind of like the Facebook phenomenon, people think they are getting something for free, they are really a resource which is being exploited for free.

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