Hospital Closures and Layoffs At UK's National Health Service?

In the same week Democrats forced unwanted healthcare reform down America's throat, internal documents surfaced across the Pond showing plans for massive budget cuts at Great Britain's National Health Service.

"The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped," the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

"Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country."

The Telegraph said such cuts would lead to (h/t Weasel Zippers):

  • 10 per cent of NHS staff being sacked in some areas.
  • The loss of thousands of hospital beds.
  • A reduction in the number of ambulance call-outs.
  • Medical professionals being replaced by less qualified assistants.

There was more:

Last year all English health authorities were ordered by Sir David Nicholson, the NHS chief executive, to reconsider their plans after the recession forced the Government to freeze health spending from April next year.

This left a ''black hole’’ of up to £20 billion in health budgets up to 2014, prompting the drawing up of new proposals by the 10 strategic health authorities (SHAs).

They had until Friday to submit their plans to Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary. He is under pressure from the Treasury to show how money will be saved to help bring down Britain’s record £167 billion deficit. [...]

Documents produced by several of the SHAs show how the cuts are, in fact, expected to fall on hospital services. [...]

A document marked “restricted” and circulated among SHA board members suggests 10,000 of the region’s 100,000 NHS workers may lose their jobs. “The new financial environment demands that the trend in workforce growth must be reversed,” it said, adding bosses must reduce employee numbers by 10 per cent “or further”.

The document said staffing in the acute sector, covering hospitals, “can be expected to decline faster and further” than elsewhere.

Shocking stuff. Yet, according to LexisNexis, not one major American media outlet reported the Telegraph's findings.

Apparently our press doesn't feel this is at all relevant as the President and his Party begin trying to sell the benefits of healthcare reform to a citizenry that isn't happy with the bill they just passed.

After all, if Americans knew that healthcare services might be cut in Great Britain due to that country's budget crisis, maybe they would be even more against the bill Obama just signed given our exploding debt and financial woes.

With this in mind, it will be very interesting to see how this gets reported by the Obama-loving press in the days and weeks to come.

Stay tuned.

Noel Sheppard's picture