NHS whistleblowers are routinely gagged in order to cover up dangerous and even dishonest practices that could attract bad publicity and damage a hospital’s reputation.
Some local NHS bodies are spending millions of taxpayers’ money to pay off and silence whistleblowers with “super gags” to stop them going public with patient safety incidents. Experts warn that patients’ lives are being endangered by the use of intimidatory tactics to force out whistleblowers and deter other professionals from coming forward.
The IoS has learnt of children in Stoke-on-Trent needlessly losing organs after safety issues highlighted by a senior surgeon – who was suspended after coming forward to voice concerns – were ignored. In one of more than 20 serious incidents, a newborn baby girl needed an ovary removed after a standard procedure to remove a cyst was delayed because of staff shortages.
According to Public Concern at Work (PCaW), two-thirds of doctors, nurses and other careworkers are accepting non-disclosure clauses built into severance agreements, in order to avoid years of suspension, financial ruin, incriminations and distress before a case reaches court. The details of these claims, including allegations of dangerous practice, dishonesty and misconduct, are never disclosed to the public.
The problem with government-run health care is simple. They take your money through income taxes, and they promise that later on, when you are sick, they will give you treatment. But because you have paid them up front, when the time comes to be treated you have lost your leverage to get the treatment. None of the people providing you with health care have any incentive to treat you – you’ve already paid them! No one’s salary or bonus is riding on providing you with what you want! Provision of care is often rationed so that those who voted for the party in power are served first.
Contrast government-run health care with a free market system. In a free market, sellers of health care services and medical devices compete to earn your money by giving you the highest quality for the lowest price. You have the power over these competing sellers because you have the money in your hand – no one took it from you before you needed to use it. You can always go to a competitor if you don’t like what’s being provided to you for your money, unlike government-run systems. The consumer can choose what they want by comparing prices and patient outcomes across vendors.