Sunday, 12 February 2012

The NHS (2)

Following on from my previous post on this subject, it would appear that where provision of health services in the EU is concerned all is not as first appears. Whilst health care was specifically excluded from the scope of the services directive, in June 2006 Ministers of Health of the (then) 25 Member States adopted common values and principles which are to guide EU health systems - and which, as far as I am aware, are still 'extant'.

From the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) website we read that:
"In their declaration, ministers agree that health services must be underpinned by the following values, as defined below:

universality (access to healthcare must be ensure for every person living in the European Union);

access to good quality care;

equity ( equal access to health care regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, social status and ability to pay);

solidarity (linked to the financial schemes under which the health systems are funded)

They also state that reducing health inequalities must be one of the aims of health systems, as well as a shift towards preventive measures.

Besides values, they specifically note that the implementation of those values vary from one State to another and that should remain the rule. Nevertheless, they outline operational principles:



Care that is based on evidence and ethics

Patient Involvement


Privacy and confidentiality
In passing, do note that phrase "as well as a shift towards preventive measures." which is more than likely the reason for legislation such as the 'smoking ban'; latterly, the attempts to reduce alcohol consumption, obesity, 'cheese rolling' (someone might break an arm or a leg); and other such 'dangerous practices'. Note also the 'operational principles' outlined, which provides ample scope for the Lib/Lab/Con to inflict their ideology on changes that they make to our 'national treasure' - aka the NHS.

It is also worth noting Article 6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and in particular clause (a):
"The Union shall have competence to carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement the actions of Member States. The areas of action shall, at European level, be:
(a) protection and improvement of human health"
So not only do we find that Cameron' proposals for changes to the NHS conform to the 'common values and principles', being the good 'European' that he so obviously is he has ensured they do.

Reverting to Article 6(a) of the TFEU, it does beg the question how long it will be before a 'harmonisation' of healthcare and the provision of same emanates from Brussels?

Just asking...........


Anonymous said...

I was of the view that apart from the communitarian aspects of (ill)health schemes currently operating "independently" within the EU, that those of France and Germany were worth emulating WfW…

I have heard it said (and seen it written) that amongst the various systems, "our" (ill)health system most closely resembles that of Cuba…

My experience (which is considerable, due to a lifetime of chronic disease), is that compared to Cuba we still have some way to go, but we are getting there. No doubt, once the (ill)health systems across the EU are harmonised, the good things about the French and German systems will have disappeared, in exchange for Romanian quality.

(NB: small amount of licence adopted, for the purposes of the flow…)

Antisthenes said...

The EU is destroying the ability of it's members to create sufficient wealth to fund universal free for all healthcare. So eventually the words that enshrine the legal responsibility to provide it will be just that words. The EU and nation states social democrat aspirations are with ever more speed destroying that which it aims to achieve.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

r_w: Ouch...... but true.

A: Agreed.