Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/828/19458
Correction: Labour's private health links are even worse!
Following our article on 'Labour: no real alternative' in last week's issue of the Socialist we received an email from the corporate communications manager of private health company Bupa.
She was anxious to point out an inaccuracy in one sentence of the article that said: "Labour heath minister, Patricia Hewitt, farmed out NHS work to Bupa and other companies on the grounds that it would reduce waiting times. She later became a director of the private equity company that owned Bupa!"
In fact Bupa itself was not and isn't now owned by a private equity company. It sold its UK hospitals to Cinven, one of the world's biggest private equity firms in 2007 for £1.4 billion.
Patricia Hewitt became the "special advisor" to that company in 2008. At the same time she became a "special consultant" to Boots, one of the biggest pharmaceutical chains in the world.
The email from Bupa also very kindly points out that between July 2013 and May 2014 she was a board member of... Bupa.
This only emphasises our point: the tangled web between Labour ministers like Hewitt and the private companies that benefit from the privatisation that they carry out while in government.
This is not confined just to Labour of course, but does show that they are in reality no different to other big business parties. These positions are all well paid of course, and we invite our readers to draw their own conclusions on this practice!
We are grateful to Bupa for its correction, since it clarifies these links. And we are pleased to know that the pages of our paper and website are so avidly read! However it will not stop us campaigning for the nationalisation of Bupa and all other privatised parts of the health service, so we can have a fully funded, publicly owned and democratically controlled NHS.
In The Socialist 8 October 2014:
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