Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Yawn ...

Directly-elected health boards? Who cares?

The SNP do, because it was in their manifesto, and they haven't fulfilled any of their manifesto pledges since they scrapped Graduate Endowment, and that was some time ago now. This one probably seems easy enough.

But who else cares?

"The idea of direct elections has the backing of unions but has found little support from health boards themselves."

Unions dig it; the health boards don't. Hmm.

"Sixteen-year-olds will be able to vote in the elections."

Yeah, and who of them is going to vote to elect their local health board? They have Playstations to play, and homework to do, and blue wkd's to serruptitiosly guzzle at underage teen parties. More to the point, this is opposed by the Electoral Commission and has aroused "serious concerns" from the related Scottish Parliamentary committee.

Further still, as Mary Scanlon, Tory health spokesperson, put it:

"Barely a quarter of those who responded to the consultation were in favour of these elections, and only four of Scotland's 32 councils back the plans."

Basically, no one cares! No one will vote! Nobody wants NHS Scotland Ancient-Athens-stylee. Why waste money on these pilots? What insights are they expecting to gain by launching these seven-year pilots, other than that the NHS remains just as frigged if the interfering busybodies have the vote of a few interested townsfolk than if they have no vote at all?

The Lib Dems have the real doozy though, from health spokesman Ross Finnie:

"Liberal Democrats believe that direct elections are not the best way of improving health board accountability. That is why we have called for alternatives like getting local councils more involved in running local health services."

Please, Ross, do tell me all about the general medical expertise and experience of hospital-management endowed upon our country's local councillors. They should leave local health services well alone, and leave it to the people who actually know what they're talking about - i.e. medically-trained personnel. Get the meddling politicians out of there!

1 comment:

Stuart Winton said...

Yes, I can't work out which is the more worrying - the possibility of lay 16-year-olds or local councillors getting more involved in these issues.

Of course, these are difficult issues, but there should be more to it than crude rhetoric about accountability and participation etc.