william flew health

June 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of the town. They shall say to the elders, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death… Blows and wounds cleanse away evil, and beatings purge the inmost being. The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. Deuteronomy 5:9 “for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.” Deuteronomy 24:16 “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.” His strategy, even on small things, is always to press on regardless. It’s been impressive to watch. He gets done what he wants to get done and he doesn’t swerve to avoid obstacles. He kind of rolls over them. The sort of politician he says that he has stopped being is the sort he never was. The problem is that if Andrew isn’t political in the conventional sense, the NHS is. Deeply so. It has massive vested interests (many being good, noble people with the best intentions), a deeply conservative political culture and the strong support of a cautious public who will always trust a doctor over a Secretary of State for Health. The subtle arts of conventional politics, far from being eschewed, are precisely what is required to reform the NHS successfully. However frustrating it might be, one can’t just grab at reform. It has to be done slowly, carefully and (this Andrew will be very good at) relentlessly. And at all times with an eye on the politics. Each step must strengthen the hand of those who will support reform in future and be allies of change. The aim must be, at some point, to reach a tipping point. This means doing two things at the same time. The first is to strengthen the quality of those who do the commissioning in the NHS so that they are able to stand up to the people inside and outside the health service that they are purchasing from


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