John Rentoul is rightly disdainful of the producerist health policy reannounced by David Cameron today. The policy - which would scrap maximum waiting times for patients - has been developed by the BMA's spokesman Andrew Lansley, who occasionally fulfils the role of shadow health secretary, and it has been well documented on this blog.
So, there really is no excuse for anyone buying Dave's attempt to pretend that his sorry docment a great piece of radical thinking rather than a huge step backwards for patients. Yet the whole policy is being sold deceitfully to the electorate with a compliant media failing to explain what it really means. For example, I recently received a lengthy 'questionnaire' from William Rees Mogg's eccentric lad, Jacob, whose dad tells us in his Times ramblings each week is destined to become my local MP, asking whether we liked the Tory policy of getting rid of 'wasteful and harmful NHS targets' - or what today's 'draft manifesto' calls 'politically motivated process targets.'
I doubt many voters understand that what this really means is moving from 18 week to 18 month waiting times for treatment or from 4 to 12 hour waits in A&E, or scrapping cancer treatment targets. But then they'll surely be thrilled to know that while they languish on a hospital trolley they can go online and see if any other A&E had a better record the previous year. Isn't it about time the Tories' ludicrous 'health policy' got the scrutiny it deserves?
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