Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/728/14944
Kick private profiteers out of the NHS
Exposed: the real threat of privatisation
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".
What we say
- Axe the Health and Social Care Act. For a publicly funded service, free at the point of use, to meet everyone's health needs
- End big business profiteering from the NHS. Scrap the costly and dangerous PFI schemes. Cancel all PFI debts
- Take all health services and buildings back from big business and place them under public ownership. Publicly fund and integrate them with the rest of the NHS
- Nationalise the pharmaceutical and medical supply industries and private health providers, with compensation only on the basis of proven need. Bring them under democratic working class control and management
- Abolish Foundation Trusts. For democratic control of local health services including by elected health workers and community representatives
- End NHS job losses and low pay
- For a massive trade union-led struggle to defend the NHS, including a national demonstration and strike action
- For a new mass workers' party to defend the NHS and fight cuts and privatisation
- For socialist policies and a democratic planned economy to end poverty, bad housing, unemployment, pollution and inequality - the biggest killers and causes of ill-health
In The Socialist 25 July 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Stop NHS cuts & privatisation
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party appeal & news