MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘National Health Service’

UK to roll out antibody testing, planning ‘antibody certificates’ | Coronavirus pandemic News | Al Jazeera

Posted by M. C. on May 22, 2020

The level of immunity remains a mystery, wrote Nature’s editorial board. Tests are unreliable, the volume of testing needed is unfeasible and the threats to privacy and marginalised groups who would likely face even greater scrutiny all mean that immunity passports are a bad idea, they wrote.

Comrade, minor details like these will not stop the state.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/uk-roll-antibody-testing-planning-antibody-certificates-200521222513391.html

Around one in six people in London and one in 20 elsewhere in England have already had the coronavirus, the United Kingdom’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, as he announced plans for “antibody certificates”.

Data gathered from an antibody surveillance study suggests 17 percent of people in London and around five percent of people across England have tested positive for antibodies to coronavirus, he told the daily Downing Street briefing.

This news comes as the government agreed to a deal with pharmaceutical firms Roche and Abbott for more than 10 million antibody tests, to see if people have had COVID-19.

They will first be offered to health and social care staff as well as patients and care home residents.

UK’s divided response: Varied messages across four nations [2:43]

The tests are not without their critics. Germany, one of the first countries to order millions of tests from Swiss drug giant Roche, said it would not use them until they had been debated by the country’s top ethicists.

Concern remains about how the issuing of “antibody passports” could lead to a two-tier society, with some people continuing to be locked down at home while others move about freely with life beginning to return to normal.

“In our view, any documentation that limits individual freedoms on the basis of biology risks becoming a platform for restricting human rights, increasing discrimination and threatening – rather than protecting – public health,” read an editorial comment in top science journal Nature.

The level of immunity remains a mystery, wrote Nature’s editorial board. Tests are unreliable, the volume of testing needed is unfeasible and the threats to privacy and marginalised groups who would likely face even greater scrutiny all mean that immunity passports are a bad idea, they wrote.

The UK government is, however, seemingly pressing on regardless, and also arranging supplies for the devolved administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with each part of the UK deciding how to use its test allocation.

Syrian refugee’s message to Boris Johnson [1:54]

While it remains unclear what level of immunity people develop once they have had COVID-19, some experts hope a degree of immunity lasts for at least a year or two.

However, having antibodies does not automatically mean a person will not pass the virus onto somebody else.

Hancock said: “This is an important milestone and it represents further progress in our national testing programme. Knowing you have these antibodies will help us to understand in the future if you are at lower risk of catching coronavirus, dying from coronavirus and of transmitting coronavirus.”

Testing times

Hancock also announced a trial of a rapid 20-minute test to tell people if they currently have COVID-19 following criticisms that people have been waiting days or weeks for test results.

Accident and emergency hospital departments, general-practitioner testing hubs and care homes in Hampshire will all trial the new test, which will be used on up to 4,000 people.

The test does not need to be sent off to a lab and will be rolled out more widely if it is shown to be effective, Hancock said.

Can apps put coronavirus in check? | Inside Story [24:42]

Before the press briefing, Downing Street announced a U-turn on the National Health Service surcharge, saying overseas health and care staff would be exempted from the fee levied on migrants to pay for the NHS.

It came after mounting pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson from senior Tories, with former party chairman Lord Patten calling the charge “appalling” and “monstrous”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who urged the prime minister in the Commons on Wednesday to scrap the charge, said: “Boris Johnson is right to have U-turned and backed our proposal to remove the NHS charge for health professionals and care workers.

“This is a victory for common decency and the right thing to do. We cannot clap our carers one day and then charge them to use our NHS the next.”

The decision came a day after another U-turn, when the government extended a scheme offering indefinite leave to remain in the UK to the families of all immigrant NHS staff who die as a result of contracting coronavirus.

Certificates

At the daily press briefing, Hancock said certificates were being looked at for people who test positive for coronavirus antibodies.

Key workers at risk: UK companies accused of overlooking safety [2:27]

He said: “It’s not just about the clinical advances that these tests can bring.

“It’s that knowing that you have these antibodies will help us to understand more in the future if you are at lower risk of catching coronavirus, of dying from coronavirus and of transmitting coronavirus.

“We’re developing this critical science to know the impact of a positive antibody test and to develop the systems of certification to ensure people who have positive antibodies can be given assurances of what they can safely do.”

Meanwhile, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty told the briefing the total number of deaths from all causes was now down to the rate in an average winter.

He said “All-cause mortality has come down at the same time as the COVID deaths have come down, and it is now at roughly the rate it is at in an average winter.

“So, we are essentially having a winter in health terms, in terms of mortality, but in late spring and early summer.”

Prof Whitty also said care home deaths had peaked and have now come down.

On the test, track and trace strategy, Hancock sought to play down the importance of the delayed app in the contact tracing process.

He had originally said the app would be rolled out by mid-May, but it has now been delayed by several weeks.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Should Racists Get Health Care?

Posted by M. C. on December 31, 2019

Political correctness recently took a dangerous turn in the United Kingdom…

The UK is one big dangerous turn.

NHS’s infamous “waiting lists…

Since many people define racism and sexism as “anything I disagree with,” the new policy will no doubt lead to people being denied medical care for statements that most reasonable people would consider unobjectionable.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/december/30/should-racists-get-health-care/

Written by Ron Paul

Political correctness recently took a dangerous turn in the United Kingdom when the North Bristol National Health Service Trust announced that hospital patients who use offensive, racist, or sexist language will cease receiving medical care as soon as it is safe to end their treatment.

The condition that treatment will not be withdrawn until doing so is safe seems to imply that no one will actually suffer from this policy. However, health-care providers have great discretion to determine when it is “safe” to withhold treatment. So, patients could be left with chronic pain or be denied certain procedures that could improve their health but are not necessary to make them “safe.” Patients accused of racism or sexism could also find themselves at the bottom of the NHS’s infamous “waiting lists,” unable to receive treatment until it truly is a matter of life and death.

Since many people define racism and sexism as “anything I disagree with,” the new policy will no doubt lead to people being denied medical care for statements that most reasonable people would consider unobjectionable.

This is not the first time NHS has withheld treatment because of an individual’s behavior. A couple years ago, another local health committee announced it would withhold routine or nonemergency surgeries from smokers and the obese. Since reducing smoking and obesity benefits both individual patients and the health care system as a whole, this policy may appear defensible. But denying or delaying care violates medical ethics and sets a dangerous precedent. If treatment could be denied to smokers and the obese, then it could also be denied to those who engage in promiscuous sex, drive over the speed limit, don’t get the “proper” number of vaccinations for themselves and their children, or have “dangerous” political views.

Government bureaucrats denying care to individuals for arbitrary reasons is the inevitable result of government interference in the health-care market. Government intervention is supposed to ensure quality and affordable (or free) care for all. But, government intervention artificially lowers the costs of health care to patients while increasing costs to providers. As demand rises and supply falls, government imposes rationing to address the shortages and other problems caused by prior government interference.

Rationing has been part of American health care at least since the passage of the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973. Every plan to expand government’s role in health care contains some form of rationing.

Advocates for government intervention in health care will counter complaints about rationing by saying the related health-care decisions are being made to benefit people’s quality of life. But, claiming government officials know how medical treatment can best enhance quality of life is as absurd as claiming that government officials know the correct prices of automobiles.

The only way to reverse the slide into national health care and rationing is for those who understand the economic and moral case for liberty to keep pushing to replace Obamacare and all other government intrusions into health care. Government-controlled health care must be replaced by free-market health care that empowers individuals to determine for themselves what does and does not enhance their quality of life.


Copyright © 2019 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Waiting List News and Political Cartoons

 

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UK: National Health Service to Deny Treatment for ‘Racist or Sexist Language, Gestures, Behaviour’

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2019

More PC insanity from the UK.

The NHS – equal health care for all – only some are less equal than others.

I wonder if the NHS would treat Pakistani child groomers.

https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/11/04/uk-national-health-service-to-deny-treatment-for-racist-or-sexist-language-gestures-behaviour/

by Jack Montgomery

A National Health Service (NHS) trust has announced that it will withdraw treatment from patients it deems to be racist or sexist.

The North Bristol NHS Trust announced that patients will be subject a “sports-style disciplinary yellow card and then final red card in which treatment would be withdrawn as soon as is safe” on its official website.

The policy would cover not just “Threatening and offensive language” but also “Racist or sexist language, gestures or behaviour” more generally, as well as “malicious allegations” — a rather troubling caveat, given the NHS has in the past been entangled in large-scale malpractice scandals which hospitals and staff have initially denied.

“We have staff from many different backgrounds, from all over the world, and we pride ourselves on our commitment to equality which is a fundamental value of the NHS,” commented Andrea Young, Chief Executive for North Bristol NHS Trust.

“We’re sending a strong signal that any racism or discrimination is completely unacceptable – we want staff to challenge and report it and we want everyone to know that it will have consequences.”

How low the bar for deeming behaviour discriminatory and sufficiently “offensive” to withdraw treatment is not spelled out in explicit terms.

For example, in late 2017 an NHS patient who requested a female nurse to carry out a cervical smear complained when the hospital sent a person with “an obviously male appearance… close-cropped hair, a male facial appearance and voice, large number of tattoos and facial stubble” who insisted “My gender is not male. I’m a transsexual”

Another NHS trust for the area, the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, has previously been criticised for ordering the removal of the British flag from security staff stab vests after someone complained that the country’s national banner was “offensive”.

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