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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2007

Fat cats eye the cream

WHOEVER TAKES over as commercial director at the Department of Health will oversee the purchase of care for NHS patients. This job has been offered to Channing Wheeler, an executive of the US-based private health firm UnitedHealth Group.

They are giving a fat cat the key to the cream! Appointing a private company 'expert' on healthcare purchasing clearly shows New Labour's continued commitment to market-based 'reforms' such as using the private sector to treat NHS patients - at enormous profit to big business.

United Health Europe, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth, recently tried to take over the running of two general practices in Derbyshire and also Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust as steps towards very profitable private involvement in healthcare commissioning. In an all-too-familiar process of two-way travel, Simon Stevens, Blair's former health adviser, is now president of United Health Europe.

Meanwhile, UnitedHealth Group is still being investigated in the US. Its longstanding chief executive resigned after he and other executives repeatedly received stock options granted at or near the lowest point of the share price in each year they received them, guaranteeing a huge yield from these perks.

Wheeler, as chief executive of UnitedHealth subsidiary Uniprise is alleged to have received more than 409,000 options between 1998 and 2002. Favouring Wheeler suggests that suspected fraud and corruption do not alter Blair's determination to sell off the NHS.

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In The Socialist 3 May 2007:

2007 election analysis: Time for a new workers' party

Scottish Elections: Labour rocked as SNP wins


Socialist Party election campaign

NHS cuts... privatisation... widening wealth gap

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: A matter of life and death in Swansea

Fat cats eye the cream


Socialist Party workplace news

PCS: Fighting for jobs, pay and services

Picketing the Tate Modern


Socialist Party editorial

Widening wealth gap needs working-class response


Socialist Party election campaign

Packed election rally for Scotland's Solidarity

Irish election - Socialist Party takes on the establishment

New Labour panics and resorts to lies

Yorkshire ISR and Socialist Students day of action


Global Warming

Alternative energy: Winds of change?


Education

Stop these education cuts


Socialist Students

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Seattle students walkout against the Iraq war

Pressure mounts for troops withdrawal


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Russia April 1917: Lenin returns from exile


Comment

Women must have the right to choose!


Socialist Party news and analysis

What 'public-private partnerships really mean

Campaigning for LGBT rights

Oppose legal aid contracts tooth and nail


Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Sunvic strikers

Greenwich workers fight on

Remember the dead but fight for the living

The scandal of HSE cuts


 

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