For the BBC, the NHS Privatisation Debate is Over
The BBC News website's reporting about changes to the NHS now, more than ever, ignores the voice of the overwhelming majority of UK citizens who do not want to see moves towards privatisation of the NHS. On the 5th December, reporting on David Cameron's speech about the "NHS-Industry" partnership plainly regurgitates the fallacies of Cameron's reasons for getting the private sector involved – that he is interested in the NHS becoming “the fastest adopter of new ideas in the world”, knowing that industry involvement will resemble a “huge magnet to pull new innovations through”.
The balance in this report focuses on privacy concerns, and is summarised in the usual way at the start of the article: “But critics say commercial interests are being put ahead of patient privacy”. Note the language used to describe both sides of the argument right at the beginning of the article:
The PM wants to give patients faster access...
But critics say commercial interests...
Ministers believe Britain can become a world leader...
The objectives of leaders are portrayed as positive, even progressive, while the major motives behind the changes to the NHS go unchallenged. On the other hand, “critics” try to stand in the way of this progress. Interestingly, there is no more mention of concerns of privatisation of the NHS, which is now seen as a given. The focus of criticism in this case is now shifted towards privacy concerns regarding the provision of patient's data to private companies, yet the connection is not made that this is itself a result of privatisation.
On the same day, more reporting about NHS changes came from Nick Triggle, the BBC health correspondent, who has in recent months proven himself to be overwhelmingly in favour of private sector involvement in UK healthcare. Last March in an article entitled “NHS accused of bias against private sector”, Triggle wrote about health managers who are “rebelling against plans to create greater competition in the NHS”. The article pits the private sector as the underdog, showing a table of “NHS tactics” used as part of this “bias against” the private sector. Yesterday, he wrote a similar empathy-filled article for the private sector, reporting that GPs are being “bullied” away from making their NHS reforms.
In general, Triggle refuses to pay heed to the enormous opposition among the British public to the “reforms” in the NHS. Neither does he acknowledge the results of a poll carried out by the British Medical Association in March, which found that “66% [of doctors] agree that the proposed system of clinician-led commissioning will increase health inequalities”. Rather, he sides with Mike Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance, who says that doctors trying to make reforms are being “bullied”, and who, in June of this year called upon the government to speed up NHS reforms in certain areas of the country.
That the public-funded news reporting has drifted so far from public opinion, now ignoring polls, petitions, and professional concerns about changes to the NHS, is alarming. It assumes that the battle against privatisation of the NHS has been lost, which is certainly not the case. Yet it looks as though reporters across the entire media will continue to overlook the wishes of the public.
|Categories in which this article appears: BBC News | David Cameron | NHS | Politics ||
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|1. Anonymous||06 December 2011 12:40|
|2. Richard Blogger||04 January 2012 13:09|
|3. lesley||04 January 2012 16:06|
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