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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 October 2012

South London NHS debt funds Tories!

Bob Severn, London Socialist Party

Two hospitals could be privatised with another losing its accident and emergency department on the orders of the South London NHS Trust (SLNT) administrator.

The trust, which has been declared bankrupt, is predicted to 'lose' £65 million this year. At least one third of this is due to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes.

So does the administrator's report suggest axing PFI? No - axe workers instead! The report wants £34 million cut from medical and nursing pay.

But much of SLNT's debt is due to staff shortages! Firm Medacs was paid £4.1 million for medical agency staff.

According to Dr Éoin Clarke's blog: "Medacs is part of Impellam Group which is 57% owned by Lord Ashcroft's family.

"Ashcroft is the number one Tory Donor of all time having given more than £5 million to the party. Medacs often charge more than £800 per day to supply one agency staff member."

Clarke has also calculated that the Medacs payments are part of £10 million that have been paid by SLNT, in one year alone, to firms that finance the Conservatives.

Other Tory donors to take money from SLNT include the consultants PriceWaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey & Co. McKinsey's senior partner backed David Cameron's campaign to become Tory leader.

Protests against the Con-Demolition of our NHS took place across London in September. The health unions, especially Unison, should be planning industrial action against cuts and privatisation which could be part of a 24-hour general strike against austerity.

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