Thursday 8 May 2003

NHS reforms: but not in Scotland

Tony Blair got his way over foundation hospitals in the House of Commons vote. But health is a devolved responsibility of the Scottish parliament and the changes will not apply here:
By setting NHS hospitals free from direct state control and bringing in a new layer of private clinics, England is modernising. By denying this reform on ideological grounds, Scotland is staying in the dark ages.

This is understood and even welcomed in London. "You never notice a suntan until you look under your watchstrap. And if we want to see how much progress we’re making, we’ll just look at Scotland," said one MP in the lobby yesterday.

Scotland gets higher per-capita NHS expenditure than England without even the meagre reforms that are happening down south. Eventually people here will see the light and I hope that they blame our political class for the unnecessary suffering caused by our unreformed health service.