Posted by: Witch Doctor | May 15, 2011

Mark Britnell: Following the trail – Part 2

For some time now, My Black Cat has been keeping a watch on what Dr Grumble is reading. It’s there for everyone to share as a feed at the top right hand corner of his blog.

MBC picked up on something and followed it up till she reached what seems to be the origin of what we were ranting about in our last post.

“Future reforms would show ‘no mercy’ to the NHS and offer a ‘big opportunity’ to the for-profit sector”

She traced it to Tamasin Cave of Spinwatch who reported it a few days before it broke on The Guardian.

“Privatisation was ‘never his intention’? Someone should tell that to Mark Britnell, a former high-flyer in the Department of Health, now global head of health at KPMG, and recent appointee to David Cameron’s “kitchen cabinet” of health experts to advise on health service reform. 

Just six months ago, Britnell told a conference of private healthcare executives1: “In future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer.” 

In case there was any ambiguity in that, Britnell explained to conference delegates (in a session called ‘Reform Revolution’):

“The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.”

And then My Black Cat clicked agin to find the original source of Mr Brittnell’s quote.

It’s here. You can download it as a PDF.

OPPORTUNITIES POST GLOBAL HEALTHCARE REFORMS

It was an Apax Global Healthcare Services Conference held in New York in October 2010.

Who then is Apax?

Apax partners LLP is a global private equity and venture capital firm based in London. Apex invests exclusively in certain business sectors including telecommunications, information technology, retail and consumer products, media, healthcare and financial and business services.

One of the objectives of the conference was concerned with turning challenge into opportunity.

Prior to the conference some opinions were sought from those invited to attend.

Here are two of the questions:

QUESTION 1

“What is the main driving force behind your attempts to adapt to healthcare reform?”

85% agreed with the following:

“Global healthcare reform creates a positive environment for business and adapting to change is key.”

QUESTION 2

“How would you view increased consumer engagement in your business?”

97% gave a positive or very positive reposnse to this answer;

“Consumerism in healthcare has arrived. That trend will continue/accelerate in the next five years, and will have significant impact on businesses across the healthcare spectrum”

When it came to discussing the UK, the dilemma as always related to demographic change and increasing expectations for healthcare. The existing regime was financially unsustainable so they said.

It seems the NHS is “a regime,” My Black Cat…….

Mark Britnell, former Director-General for Commissioning and System Management for the NHS who is now KPMG’s Global Head of Health said:

“GPs will have to aggregate purchasing power, and there will be a big opportunity for those companies that can facilitate this process.”

And here is the paragraph that has been picked up by the media over the past few days

“From deliverer to insurer

“The other change that Britnell sees in the UK is even more fundamental: ‘In future, The NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer.’ In future ‘any willing provider’ from the private sector will be able to sell goods and services to the system. Britnell comments: ‘The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.’
The monolithic arm of state control will be relaxed which will provide a huge opportunity for efficient private sector suppliers.”

Incidentally, Ruben Toral CEO, Medinet asked a question:

“Medical tourism is like buying a holiday on Expedia and the options are no longer local, they are global. Is healthcare inherently different to buying a car or vacation online?”

So, it seems we are consumers, not patients, and global companies are poised to opportunistically take their place in the global health marketplace.

David Cameron may be under a lot of pressure from his advisors and from the markets – and there is a degree of intertwinglement between the two.

Will he dare to backtrack to any great extent on the reforms?

Will he?

Can he, My Black Cat?

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LINK TO WITCH DOCTOR’S INTERTWINGLEMENT BLOG

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

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Responses

  1. “Will he dare to backtrack to any great extent on the reforms?

    Will he?

    Can he, My Black Cat?”

    No to both … the reason why doctors should call for the protection of the needy and not for scrapping the bill. Because Britain would lose out if it doesn’t follow the ‘trend’. Britain too has to become ‘trendy’

    I posted those on my January scroll:

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=23&storycode=4128220&c=2

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2011/jan/14/kpmg-nhs-london-gp-commissioning-unitedhealth

    http://www.odgersberndtson.co.uk/gb/news-events/news/article/gp-consortia-to-share-financial-risk-through-pooled-funds-3315/

    Things became much clearer since then.

  2. There are interesting links on your scroll.

    Sometimes, Sam, I wish I had a degree in economics as well as in medicine, then I might have more insight into what these reforms are really about.

    In the meantime, and I may well change my mind, I do not believe any of the politicians of any party want to see patient care of the NHS deteriorate as an unintended consequence of bolstering the market. They feel there is a demographic crisis brewing and they simply are not sure what to do. So they rely on their advisors… it is just possible they may be over-emphasising the demographic crisis to governments. I just don’t know. The trouble I have with becoming “trendy” and following the globalisation culture in healthcare is that I think some of the most influential of the government’s advisors think like bankers, and consequently healthcare might go into meltdown due to a big gamble and overenthusiasm with market forces.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comment in a previous post i.e. that doctors have to ensure that patients are protected during these reforms. At the moment it looks to me that the “care” of the more profitable “clients” with not much wrong with them healthwise, is being prioritsed.

  3. [...] combs through the conference programme at which Mark Britnell, Cameron’s advsior and KPMG’s [...]

  4. You have a very clever Black Cat, WD. I think this depends more and more on one thing; the public actually understanding what is going on with this bill. The longer this bill gets delayed, the more chance we have of that happening and the more chance we have of stopping it. We need to keep putting the info out there so that people know.

  5. “I do not believe any of the politicians of any party want to see patient care of the NHS deteriorate as an unintended consequence of bolstering the market. ”

    Exactly. I have never doubted our politicians integrity in this regard, even if some accepted some meagre donations to their party/office or whatever. I think the media is very harsh to paint them in that light sometimes, because it is just unbelievable they’d sell their country for personal gain. Naive? Thank god for that!

    “They feel there is a demographic crisis brewing and they simply are not sure what to do.”

    Oh, they know what to do alright. We have to join or lose out. Their problem is that they are trying to protect the vulnerable at the same time [When people think they're doing the opposite!] The kind of capitalism we’re entering does not allow for emotions – those are considered weaknesses [Read my "moral capitalism" post.]

    “The trouble I have with becoming “trendy” and following the globalisation culture in healthcare is that I think some of the most influential of the government’s advisors think like bankers”

    They are! Well, same ideology when it comes to making ‘money’ anyway.

    “and consequently healthcare might go into meltdown due to a big gamble and overenthusiasm with market forces. ”

    Gamble? yes, but that’s ‘business’. Howeer, no melt down as such, the problem is you can’t reverse. The worst scenario is we’d perhaps be like The States rather than Singapore – not that I know much about both, but as I understand, Americans can go bust to service their health needs while they depend on the people being ‘responsible’ – and top up – in Singapore. England is used to having it all for free [or feels so] hence, I can’t see how caneerybody become ‘responsible’ overnight! Meaning also,that instead of saving through effeciency like Singapore, we may end up spending double what we spend now like in the US. The problem with a scenario like that is it is very hard to fix, as we see in the US, because the sharks that benefit will fight back till ‘death do them part’.

    Globalisation maybe is unforgiving, but it is full of opportunities. It is the reason why dictatorships will have to convert to democracies too because otherwise they won’t ‘fit’ and become a liability! What-to-do about the oil ‘gangs’ then? Now that is a question …

    … but one that needs an answer soon

    And, do you wanna swap degrees for a week? You know, like wife swap, but degrees instead! I wonder what would that be like?! … you managing fine and me crying my heart out, I suppose …. :-)

  6. [...] And this [...]


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