Privatising the NHS

Circle, a private, profit-making healthcare company, run by a former banker, and backed by hedge funds run by Crispin Odey and Paul Ruddock, who have donated £790, 000 to the Conservative Party, is set to take over Hinchingbrooke Hospital from February. The company recently published a Stock Market Admissions report, which details the potential risks faced by the company. Amongst the risk factors was the following:

Circle’s growth has placed, and its anticipated growth will continue to place, a strain on its managerial, administrative, operational, financial, information technology and other resources and could affect its ability to provide a consistent level of service to its patients.

A spokesperson for Circle pointed out that this was just one of many risk factors outlined in the document. It stands to reason that a young company, which is currently expanding, needs to ensure its growth is managed in such a way that the risks associated with that growth are mitigated. But it’s hard not to feel uncomfortable about the tension that exists between making profit and caring for patients. And it’s hard to dispel the impression that the government are in cahoots with some shadowy financial elite, intent on privatising and profiteering from every aspect of our lives.

You can read more here.

Have some tea and a Sunday cat

Cat cafes are to be found especially in a large Japanese city where a landlord is likely to forbid pets. If you long for a furry creature, you can go to a cat cafe, where a cat might just come along and sit in your lap. Decorous japanese do not suddenly grab at a furry body. At approximately $9 an hour, the idea is to become engaged in a cat’s natural serenity.

Now, looking at some of the clips, one might worry that the cats were chemically induced to tolerate the stimuli they get. I am not at all sure that it true. One thing that may be going on is that the control a culture exerts on its human inhabitants might also extent to others, such as cats.

I don’t mean to dismiss a serious worry about drugged cats, but there is also a lot written about what the cats do when not rigorously watched. The beloved, familiar duplicitous cat comes back into view.