Jun 042008
 

Last updated on November 20th, 2015

The latest “news” in healthcare is (see this BBC item): Firms ‘to run failing NHS trusts’

Now where have I heard this before? I know! Let’s check (see this BBC item) here in April 2002! What we have is Alan Milburn saying exactly the same thing…

The whole point of it is that they reckon BUPA is really good so it should be doing the managing. Let’s look at this carefully, should we?

  • NHS – get’s money from taxes,
    • finite resources but a duty of care
      • so fix people regardless:
        • even if you’re old
        • even if you’re poor
        • even if you’re rich
        • even if you’re foreign
        • even if you’re really, really sick
  • BUPA – get’s money from company’s and other’s insurance schemes.
    • Business focussed – i.e.
      • If the money runs out, they run away!
      • If they haven’t enough money, they do nothing
      • They pay enough to their staff to get the job done
      • They won’t look after you if you are:
        • too unwell
        • too old
        • too poor

Let’s see some examples of the cary-shary BUPA at work should we?

  1. BUPA pulls out of Ireland, dishonoring promises to take an equal share in the insurance liabilities. (too expensive)
  2. BUPA’s lax Health & Safety kills an old person (they don’t care)
  3. BUPA’s lax Health & Safety seriously injures a child (they don’t care)
  4. Suspicious death in BUPA care home (they don’t care)
  5. BUPA care contributed to death of one of it’s own employees! (they don’t care) – even a later transfer to an NHS hospital couldn’t save that one…
  6. Brain damage by BUPA surgeon denied – and then admitted blame! BUPA even refused to pay for remedial care following their mistake!
  7. BUPA picky over terms of healthcare insurance (they don’t care)
  8. BUPA can’t do simple checks for cancer (they don’t care)
  9. Poor practise at BUPA hospital kills someone (they don’t care)
  10. BUPA (and dodgy Welsh trust) used stolen bones. Get them on the cheap! (they don’t care)

The history of BUPA and the BUPA management is one of continuous cost-cutting, skimming of publicly trained staff (without recompense to the state), and a stream of mistakes that they neither accept responsibility nor pay for and that have to be picked up and made right by the NHS. The few good things they get right are paid for using far more money than necessary and are only attempted if there’s a decent chance of success.

BUPA really is capitalism sucking at the teats of the state.

They don’t train their staff – all the people are trained at public expense so their whole business model is flawed and based on sponging off somewhere else. If they included that into their costs AND took on every difficult case and procedure instead of just creaming off the simple mole removals etc, their real costs would be prohibitive even for executives on blue-chip schemes.

And now, Ben Bradshaw the latest incumbent to the Ministerial office, wants them to tell the NHS staff how to run their affairs.

I’d tell them to just fuck off if they came near me with their calculators and scalpels.

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