Revolution ’13 (II): A Parallel #NHS For England

I previously suggested we devise a parallel set of institutions to our existing corrupt and corrupting ones, with the aim of encouraging revolution – though of a bloodless kind – to take the place of a clearly failed social and/or neoliberal democracy.

This morning, an NHS consultant tweeted as follows:

Met a colleague in the corridor this morning. He thinks the NHS is doomed and we need to get out and go private. Sad but true.

And so I quickly wondered what permutations the term “private” could possibly – or, even, constructively – lead to in what, at least to date, we have been told is potentially a far more empowering world than the one the NHS originally came out of.

Developing the train of thought, and on the back of my previous Revolution ’13 post linked to above, I tweeted this in response:

Inconceivable we could set up a parallel #NHS for England? Community health services run on mutual, cooperativist & socialist lines. #coop

What do you think?  Would there be enough interested parties for the first stage of my Revolution ’13 thesis to focus on finding a substitute set of health service provisions?  Using tools created for the Third World and other less wealthy parts of the planet (more here), we could revert their revolutionary and necessarily cost-effective approaches to medical cover “in the wild” to the job of supporting poorer people in what to date has been described as the First World.  A First World which is surely – gigantic step by gigantic step – becoming pocked and marked by holes of tremendous poverty and inequality.

No.  I’m not for one minute suggesting we give up the fight for the NHS.  But I am suggesting we put in place measures to save our perishable and finite souls from the medical Armageddon this government may yet manage to visit upon us.

WDYT?  Would it be interpreted as a sign of weakness?  Would we care if it was?

Would we have the right not to contemplate the alternatives, given the seriousness of the situation itself?


Update to this post: this piece, on GNU Health, has just come my way via the newsletter.  It’s really worth a read.  An excerpt below:

In 2006, Luis Falcón founded GNU Health, a free health information system that recently recieved the “Best Project of Social Benefit” award given by the Free Software Foundation.

GNU Solidario is the non-profit NGO behind GNU Health, started as a free software project for Primary Care facilities in rural areas and developing countries. Since then, it has evolved into a full Hospital and Health Information System used by the United Nations, public hospitals and Ministries of Health (such as in Entre Rios, Argentina), and private institutions around the globe.

GNU Health/Solidario and the United Nations International Institute for Global Health—UNU IIGH—signed an agreement in 2011 to train health professionals around the world on the system, as a way of promoting free software in public health, especially in emerging economies. Since then, both organizations have been cooperating and expanding their network of partners to deliver health in a universal way; which, also works towards the UN’s Millenium Development Goals.

The resulting interview is fascinating.  Well worth your time – and perhaps, in the end, your money.



  1. […] But what happens if this automation I speak of either doesn’t deliver as expected, delivers a world we fear already – or simply allows those with knowledge of these new Dark Arts to regain a managerialist mystique and control over our precious caring and public-service institutions?  There are always options to make such huge change work for the wider populace, I don’t disagree.  But similarly, there are chances for those who see the future quite before the rest of us to feather their virtual and physical nests in time for any encroaching disruption. […]

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