Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/795/18022
Stop the NHS sell-off
Oppose all cuts and privatisation
The National Health Service is still being privatised bit by bit but the process is speeding up rapidly.
The NHS has put many contracts out to tender and private firms are winning an increasing proportion of them.
The NHS Support Federation, which opposes this market turn, says that between April and December 2013, private firms won 39 - 70% - of the 57 contracts, worth a total of £510 million.
Fifteen went to the NHS, two to charities and one was shared by NHS and non-NHS suppliers.
The privatised contracts included mental health, GP and out-of-hours services. The amounts involved may be relatively small but the implications are enormous.
This government will shortly be selling off everything that moves and can make a profit to some private concern.
And there will now be greater legal back-up for this robbery. The European Union (EU) has just passed new "rules on public sector procurement".
That will mean that a health market amounting to £450 billion a year will be opened up to private contractors.
All EU member states are supposed to introduce parallel legislation within two years. Cameron's Tories, friends as ever of the rich and greedy, are pushing ahead early with plans to outsource far more services as quickly as they can.
Privatisation is still very unpopular but the government will try to sell off NHS services, social care, education and prison services quicker with a new 'light touch' regime. It's not as if the 'giveaway' sale of Royal Mail was at all 'heavy touch'.
The privatised company's total share value has gone up by £2.74 billion since the Royal Mail sell-off. Bankers that advised the government on the sale will be among those now enjoying the loot.
Companies ambitious for health profits won't even need to prove conclusively that they are covered for insurance.
Companies that have a dodgy record on compliance with the law will find it easier to get new contracts if they promise to be 'good'.
As NHS campaigner Louise Irvine told the Financial Times on 16 January: "This will speed up the process of privatising NHS services.
"The NHS will still spend increasing amounts on transaction costs which can account for 20-30% of healthcare budgets in a marketised system."
This is naked capitalism carried out by a Tory government. The trade unions must take these plans as a threat to the very existence of the National Health Service and organise a fightback.
The best way to hurt the piratical bosses of Moneybags Inc. is through industrial action including preparation for a 24-hour general strike!
If you are determined to fight back, join the Socialist Party. We are fighting to stop all privatisation, to bring privatised services back into public ownership under democratic control and to fight for a high quality, free NHS under democratic public ownership and control.
www.socialistparty.org.uk/join - 020 8988 8777
In The Socialist 22 January 2014:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Readers' comments and reviews