Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/389/4401
NHS privatised say doctors
Market madness wrecks NHS
IT'S OFFICIAL. The NHS is being privatised, and will be further ruthlessly privatised - for the benefit of the rich - under all the established capitalist parties, Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.
Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party general secretary
Millions of words have been spilt to convince us that "the NHS is safe" in their hands. Cutting through the waffle, the hypocrisy and duplicity which have spewed from the mouths of the established party leaders, a hospital doctor, writing in The Independent (19 April), expressed the seething anger of those at the sharp end of privatisation.
Most doctors voted Labour in the 1997 election, as they did in 2001. Now, however, "research by Hospital Doctor magazine... shows the percentage intending to do so again is more than halved and Labour now has the support of just 13% of medics in the NHS." Of the 59 senior consultants and GPs who publicly backed Labour in 1997, more than two-thirds have turned their backs on the party.
Demolishing New Labour's argument that they are not about privatising, the writer states:
"Doctors despair because this government is interested in how things appear rather than how they actually are."
They are concerned "about the accelerated privatisation of the NHS by subcontracting out vital support and laboratory services."
But money has been poured into the NHS, claims the government. Yes, but much of it is diverted
"away from care and into the pockets of construction firms... there is such a disgraceful underfunding in public hospitals that doctors spend hours finding x-rays and notes, and portering patients around because there are fewer and fewer support staff."
In a chilling message to all working-class people, the writer baldly states:
"When Tony Blair and the Health Secretary John Reid talk of choice, they mean privatisation. They mean a health service run for profit by global corporations.
"The threat is real. A vote for New Labour" (or the Tories or Liberal Democrats, says the socialist) "will mean the end of universal health care in this country, and specifically, of free health care for the poor.
"If you don't understand what your doctor is saying, you might not take the medicines he prescribes. If you don't understand what your politicians are saying to you, soon you may not get your hands on any medicine at all. Have a nice day."
But there is an alternative to this sick society, with its sick prescriptions, now and in the future. That is to defend the NHS, to place it under popular and democratic control, and one way to do this is to vote for those candidates in this election who will fight for a fully-funded NHS, free of all threats of privatisation, and linked to a socialist democratic planned economy.
Vote Socialist Party on 5 May!
In The Socialist 21 April 2005: