November 9th is the student anti-privatisation demo, they are marching on the city.. lots of anger about the nhs was being directed to that march, which makes sense because this is also about privatisation.. so join the march on the city.
aside from that, not sure.. there’s probably a certain amount of civil disobedience that can be done to prevent the bill from actually working like it should, though I’m not sure any of these will actually work:
GPs refuse to pass any patients onto private companies
patients insist on being treated by NHS
occupations of private healthcare company offices to prevent them from working.
and of course, stringing the tories up from lamposts 😉
I’ve not been at all well for the last few days. In a streak of irony I picked some bug up on Sunday at the protest to defend the NHS, so my thoughts might be total rubbish.
I’m sure ideas will emerge, but I looked around for private healthcare company offices in the west mids before the 3rd reading of the healthbill and couldn’t find any – only hospitals and I’m still not up for actually disrupting the healthcare operations of private companies.
If, however, we could disrupt their accounting departments, destroy billing records etc, that could be interesting. There is something called a “good work” strike which has been effective in private healthcare systems in the past:
Workers at Mercy Hospital in France, who were afraid that patients would go untreated if they went on strike, instead refused to file the billing slips for drugs, lab tests, treatments, and therapy. As a result, the patients got better care (since time was being spent caring for them instead of doing paperwork), for free. The hospital’s income was cut in half, and panic-stricken administrators gave in to all of the workers’ demands after three days.
Of course, that’s about the workers not the patients, but the principle of it – to disrupt the income flow of private healthcare companies so that they cannot financially operate is I think a sound way forward – after all, this is what the tories will be doing to the NHS, letting bits of it get run down through underfunding, refusing to bail out trusts that are in debt, and then using the lack of money as an excuse to close them and shift stuff to the private companies. We can look at how we can do the same kind of thing to private healthcare companies.
In which case, insisting on private companies and then refusing to pay the bills would be an interesting tactic.. although we’ll not be at that level of privatisation yet as far as I can see, ie: no patient is going to be billed directly, it’ll be the taxpayer that is billed.. so we’d need accountants in the NHS to refuse to process payments to private companies..
I think there’s probably a few creative ways that we can undermine the effects of the health bill, once it’s really put into operation.
I’d like to talk about making sure whoever gets elected next time knows that they absolutely have to repeal it. I don’t have any hope in that though, since Labour don’t show any signs of actually opposing anything and started this whole thing rolling with foundation hospitals anyway. Ultimately the destruction of the NHS has been coming for many years, and to save it we need to enforce major changes to the political system of this country.