Friday, 28 October 2011

On yer bike!

HEALTH staff! Out, get out right now! Yep, Health Minister Edwin Poots wants you gone! And especially if you're what he calls non-essential staff...

Mr Poots claimed this week that he had secured £15m to offer voluntary redundancies and early retirement packages to health staff and wasn’t able to rule out that ‘frontline’ staff would not be included. So, does that mean that if a member of the ‘frontline’ turns up asking for early retirement,Mr Poots will say no until there are enough non-essential staff collecting their cheques? And, who exactly qualifies as non-essential? And, how soon will they be back as management consultants?

Past efforts have been less than successful, or have seen swathes of the health service, like cleaning services, contracted out to the private sector. And who are we to say that it was a mere coincidence that Mr Poots was recently in the US of A, where people who don’t have health insurance yearn for the luxury of the NHS, even our less than perfect version of it.

Right here, right now more operations are being carried out, ever more complicated procedures are undertaken regularly, cancer sufferers have better survival rates and people are living longer than any other period of history.
This means that the ministerial portfolio attached to health is one which will forever be a victim of the success of those under their titular command.

Therefore spending £15m to get rid of some staff to save £9m a year seems a good deal. But, we suspect – regular Clouseau’s that we are – that all will not run smoothly, and the law of the health service unintended consequences will kick in almost immediately.