What Do I Want For 2014?

Happy New Year to my reader.

One thing I don’t want for 2014 is World Peace. If I say I want that I’ll end up being elected as Miss World 2014 and that would never do.

What I do want is for our Government and the Press to stop lying to us. A bold statement, but true I feel.

The government have stated and the press have reported that Migrants and Overseas Visitors will soon have to pay for their treatment for NHS services.  Well I’ve got news for you. They should be paying already.

To the best of my knowledge no-one from outside the EU is entitled to free NHS treatment whether they be Health Tourist or Holidaymaker.  They are supposed to be charged for their treatment and reclaim it from Health/Travel Insurance if applicable.

EU residents can be issued with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which is a re[placement for the old E111 us codgers will remember.

Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth.

The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland.

Nothing there states that it is free except in certain circumstances.  The reverse is true when Johnny Frenchman comes to visit us, he has to produce his EHIC and pay the reduced rate, even at GP surgeries.

When Mrs Angry and I left these shores for France we were summarily expelled from the NHS, had our medical records stored gathering dust in Newcastle somewhere and if we needed to visit the doctor whilst visiting family in the UK then we were supposed to pay and claim it back from the French authorities or Travel Insurance upon our return.

Where it went wrong was that the well-meaning NHS staff didn’t understand the system and why would we be charging a British National for his/her healthcare?  Lack of education/training by NHS bosses, simple as that.

For the government to state and for the press to report differently to that is WRONG. Not a mistake, not a misunderstanding. Iain Douglas Smith’s DWP (yes him again) produce a plethora of leaflets in a multitude of languages informing anyone who sends for one what the situation is.

The NHS’ own website has this to say on the subject ”

If you are moving abroad on a permanent basis, you will no longer be entitled to medical treatment under normal NHS rules. This is because the NHS is a residence-based healthcare system. You’ll also have to notify your GP so that you and your family can be removed from the NHS register.

You will no longer be entitled to use your UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access healthcare abroad.”

It also says “If you are a visitor from the European Economic Area (EEA) then you are strongly advised to bring a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you, otherwise you may be charged for your healthcare.

Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad to give birth.

Bear in mind that the UK’s healthcare system may be different from your home country’s and therefore your EHIC might not cover everything that you would expect to get free in your country

I can’t speak for all countries but in France healthcare is NOT free for French residents. Except for certain welfare cases the State pays 60-70% of your healthcare costs and the remaining 30-40% can be repaid by your Health Insurance if you have any, except for 1 Euro. The French government decrees that 1 Euro cannot be reimbursed by anybody, heaven only knows why, those bureaucratic French, don’t you just love them?

If, as British holidaymaker in France you needed to visit the doctor, you would have to pay 23 Euros (last time I was there), probably in cash, and then be charged for any medicines prescribed. The EHIC entitles you to the same service as the French, and that’s what they get.

The French Healthcare system is, in the main, an excellent one. Waiting Lists are hugely lower than they are here, but do not, for one minute, let the government convince you that it is free, not even to the French, except, as I say, basic healthcare for the really poor and disadvantaged.

Our government cannot claim that healthcare in the UK is free to overseas visitors, because EU citizen or not, it should not be free.

It has been estimated that by charging overseas properly for their healthcare could save the NHS £500 Million per year.

But don’t be fooled, this is nothing new, the system already exists, but I know from personal experience of having to tell a doctor or a dentist that they should be charging us for our treatment most NHS employees don’t know because they have not been told. I didn’t hide my address and pretend I was a British resident, I told the truth, and they still didn’t know how to charge me for my treatment.

It’s Lies, plain and simple. Tell the truth Camoron, BBC et al and put systems in place that allow for charging to be carried out as it should be, and report the news accurately and responsibly.

I have no complaints whatsoever about paying for my Healthcare in France, because I was treated the same as a French National, and I hadn’t paid anything into their Health System, but don’t let Camoron,Hunt and Smith convince you that’s free for EU Nationals cos it ain’t.

Happy New Year

What Every Member of the Public Needs to Know

Well, in a nutshell, what you all need to know is that this great country of ours is under attack, and it is under attack from the enemy within – the ConDem coalition.  They seem intent on destroying everything that is good (in my opinion) about this country, and once it’s gone, it won’t be easy to get it back.  I make no secret of the fact that I have been a life-long Tory voter, but NEVER again.  I believe that if you don’t for somebody then you have no right to complain when it all goes wrong, so I will be voting for somebody in future, but never again for this shower of s**te.  I would rather vote UKIP of Monster Raving Loony Party.

Much has been said on my blog, and those of my fellow bloggers, about the ConDems reforms of the Police Service, so I won’t take up too much of your time repeating it all again except to remind you all that by 2015 the Police Services of England and Wales will collectively have their budgets cut by 20% and 16,000 police officers lost from our streets.  That in itself is a big enough undertaking with some very serious implications.  Make no mistake,  even the Met, the largest Police Serice in the country, is going to struggle to meet its targets post Olympics, and we haven’t even heard the last part of their austerity plans yet.   If you want to see how your local force is shaping up to the cuts go to the HMIC website and choose “Find Your Force” then look at the austerity report for your area.

But the Condems haven’t stopped there, oh no.

Then we have the creeping privatisation of the NHS.  Our government has abolished its obligation to provide us free healthcare.  Our government has privatised the NHS without us knowing,  Our government has been paid by healthcare firms, they have worked alongside them, they have worked with them, they have worked FOR them. They even employ former employees of these private healthcare firms. None of that can be contested, they’ve declared their corporate interests before.  Our Lords are benefiting to the tune of millions, if not billions, by privatisation of the NHS, but no-one seems to notice. When 6,000 nurses got the sack, and Lord Ashcroft’s business replaced them with temps (earning him untold fortunes), no-one seemed to notice.  Interestingly, like the Police reforms, the BBC chooses not to report these things.  New hospitals are PFI funded.  I went to visit my sister in a brand new hospital recently (Kings Mill, like the bread) and the first thing I noticed in the entrance were the 2 Car Park Pay Stations, no way are we going to get away without paying for the car parks.  Then as I ventured further in I encountered Costa, WHS Smith, a jewellery shop (a jewellery shop in a hospital FFS?) and a hairdressing salon.  Where were the League of Friends I ask?  I read recently that Interserve has taken over the Royal Marsden NHS Trust (amongst others) arguably the finest Cancer Research and treatment facility in the UK and right up there in the whole world.  The Financial Times also reports this from behind its paywall

Three NHS Trusts have pooled together to outsource all their hospital, community and primary care facilities management to one provider, Interserve, in one of the largest deals of its kind.  Around 2,000 staff will transfer to Interserve, the FTSE250-listed outsourcer, under the agreement, which is worth £300m to the company over seven years.”

Does this sound familiar?  Does this give you cause for concern?

And don’t think that the Ambulance Service has escaped either.  As I reported in a previous blog, earlier this month the Public Accounts Committee published its report entitled Transforming NHS ambulance services.   As soon as the government understand how the Ambulance Service works, it has made it clear that it intends to reform it.

The Fire Service.  Heard much about that recently? Last year central government cut 1,500 front-line fire service jobs.  So far this year a further 1,000 have gone.  Fire Brigade pensions are going the same way as the police, pay more, work longer, get less.  Countless fire engines have been mothballed and fire stations closed, and government are making plans to privatise parts of the Fire Service. Sound familiar?  See the FBU website for more detailed information about what is happening in your area.

The British Army.  Did you know that there are now approximately 35,000 more Police officers in this country than there are full time soldiers?  In mid 2012 the full-time strength of the Regular British Army stood at a mere 99,670.   I do hope I don’t get thrown in the Tower for revealing this statistic, but it shocked me to the core to see that the Police Service, even after its shrinkage, was much bigger than our Army, and it will only get worse with the next Defence Spending Review.  If only Adolf had waited, he could have taken us easily.

And finally, I am indebted to fellow blogger Tom Pride for bringing the plight of our Coastguard service to my attention.  We have long read on twitter how the Coastguard service is under attack also, how Coastguard stations are threatened with closure, pleas to sign their petitions also.  Well, it’s actually worse then that.  Tom has blogged again today and provided absolute proof of the lies spouted by David Camoron.  He produces a letter signed by said Camoron, and dated 12th July 2012 in which he categorically states that no Coastguard stations will close before 2015.  Well, it’s now the end of  September and closures have already begun.  Not worth the paper it was written on.   You can find Tom’s blog here and read the full story, be sure to read the Comments as well, quite illuminating

Each of these issues is major in its own way, each of these issues impacts in some way on our safety and/or well-being.  What scares me most is that they are all happening AT THE SAME TIME.  The Government are determined that by 2015 the shape of this country will never again be the same.  I assume that neither the Tories nor the Lib Dems will be re-elected but who knows?  Whoever forms the next government will undoubtedly be unable to reverse these decisions, and that is why we need to do something about it now.

The only action plan that I can think of is that old rivalries are put aside, the Federation and the Unions work TOGETHER (I know, it will never catch on will it?) and fight these reforms with a united front. Together we stand and all that.  Divide and Conquer.  We’re all facing the same problems and we have a common enemy.  I don’t pretend that I know how it can be achieved, but I do believe that individual fights are doomed to failure.  The ConDems have proved that they are too arrogant to consider anything other than their own proposals.  Some of the Lords and MPs stand to make quite nice tidy sums thank you out of privatisation.  But can we afford to let it happen without that last fight.  Dunkirk spirit and all that.

If this is the last that you hear from me, you will know that I have been thrown in the Tower, or that the Blog Police have confiscated my quill.