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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2012

Kick private profiteers out of the NHS

Exposed: the real threat of privatisation

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation , photo Paul Mattsson

Marching against NHS cuts and privatisation , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

A leaked letter to doctors from a Coventry hospital chief executive has exposed the reality of allowing the private sector into the NHS.

Outrageously BMI Meriden Hospital chief executive Bernie Creaven ordered the delaying of NHS services in the hope that patients would pay to have private treatment. The hospital charges 8,500 for a hip replacement while the NHS cost is around 5,500.

Creaven wrote: "the lack of differentiation [between NHS and private patients] has had a negative effect on our private patient referrals." She demands that delays of up to eight weeks be implemented for NHS treatments!

Dave Nellist, former Coventry Socialist Party councillor (1998 - 2012), with a record of opposing all privatisation, comments:

"BMI Meriden Hospital's chief executive is just following the logic of a private company - that making profits comes first, second and third!

Socialists in Coventry opposed privatisation through PFI in the 1990s when the new Walsgrave Hospital was being planned, and we opposed the incubus of a private, profit-making hospital (BMI Meriden) being planted right at the heart of Walsgrave.

The only way to make sure that clinical need is what determines speed of treatment is to take the profit motive completely out of the NHS, by taking over firms such as BMI Meriden, who have 70 hospitals across the country like the one in Coventry, and cancelling all PFI deals. Walsgrave Hospital is now one of the most expensive PFI deals in history; 15 years ago the capital cost of the rebuilt hospital was said to be 174 million - by the end of the 35-year contract the real cost will be over 3 billion!

Labour stopped opposing PFI 15 years ago. We need to build a new broad-based mass party, rooted in the organisations and communities of the working class, that can fight to return the NHS to the needs of ordinary people".

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In The Socialist 25 July 2012:


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