The Tory semi privatisation of the health service in England has worried a lot of my mates who live there, but they have constantly been reassured that they have nothing to worry about. Not that it seems that way to me when Lansley's plans allow for hospitals to be funded up to 47% by private patients.
Who, you ask yourself, will get the best nurses, the most competent doctors, the best equipment; and who will have their rooms cleaned to a professional standard by the best cleaners? If there is an emergency, who will get the defibrillator first? I'll give you a guess. It won't be people in the 53% [always assuming that the Tories don't up it to 50% or 60% private, and that the hospitals themselves don't cheat on their figures.]
Never mind that doctors' practices may be bought over by companies who can close them down and open a massive clinic miles away to save money, or that they may sell them on to JP Morgan, G4S or French Railways at a profit.
No. Don't worry. There will be a regulator... and we all know how incredibly useful they have been at stemming the greed of the phone companies [especially the mobile ones], gas and electricity companies, bus companies, and in England, the water companies.
Up until now Lansley has promised that care will remain, as it has been for 60 years, free at the point of delivery.
But today we discover this story about a walk-in centre operated for NHS Sheffield by One Medicare on a contact until 2016, where they charge patients £25 for treatments for whiplash.
Now, that's not free at the point of delivery by anyone's standards? And is whiplash the thin end of the wedge? If so what's next?
Of course it is nothing to do with us in Scotland. Fortunately our NHS, although far from perfect, is in the hands of the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nicola Sturgeon and safe from being sold off.
But what does worry me a little is that in the vote in the Commons on the English NHS, I am told that 37 SCOTTISH Labour MPs voted with the Tory/Liberal government.
I'm not sure what they were doing voting on an all-English matter, but, that aside, if 37 Scottish MPs voted for a semi-privatised NHS, I must assume that the policy of Scottish Labour is to sell off the health service. Why otherwise would they support it in England?
Anyone who is not extremely rich or incredibly healthy and contemplating voting Labour in the future would do well to find out for certain what their intentions are for the future of the NHS. Their life might depend upon it.