Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 March 2006

New Labour's NHS lies

MILLIONS OF pounds in deficit, jobs and services cut, healthcare rationed, wards and hospitals closing - the NHS is in crisis. But who's to blame? We expose the government's lies about the NHS.

Lie 1: "The deficits are mainly because hospitals have had to pay for big pay rises for doctors and nurses."

Some senior doctors have been given large pay rises. But many NHS staff are faced with effective pay cuts because of the Agenda for Change job evaluation and pay review system. Many NHS staff are still on chronically low wages. Now they are facing redundancy as well.

Lie 2: "The deficits are also because of a massive increase in the drugs bill."

The cost of drugs has gone up and new drugs have become available to treat more illnesses. But drug companies are some of the most profitable in the world. They cost the NHS £10 billion a year, about 14% of total expenditure.

If these companies were nationalised and controlled democratically as an integral part of the health service, their resources could be unleashed for the benefit of all, not just a few shareholders.

Lie 3: "The current NHS 'reforms' are all about giving patients more choice."

Survey after survey has shown that people are not so much concerned about choice but about having a good hospital near where they live. The reason New Labour keep emphasising choice is that they want hospitals to compete with eachother. You can't have the madness of the market in the NHS unless the 'consumers' make 'choices'.

Lie 4: "Payment by results is the most efficient way of delivering health care."

Hospitals have gone into deficit because of underfunding and privatisation. They then make cuts in services. But fewer services mean a reduced income and a bigger deficit.

Payment by results means it's impossible to plan ahead with a secure income. This is made worse by being forced by the government to hive off 15% of elective surgery to expensive private providers.

Lie 5: "Private companies can deliver health care cheaper than the NHS."

Health economists estimate that it costs about £12 billion a year to operate the market in the NHS. This is the cost of invoicing, management consultants financial 'rescue' teams, marketing, advertising and lawyers. None of this contributes anything to healthcare.

In the mid-1970s, before privatisation took hold, administration amounted to about 5% of NHS spending. Now it's 20%.

Lie 6: "Everyone is still guaranteed good quality healthcare, free at the point of use."

Pregnant women in Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea NHS Hospital in London are being asked for £4,000 to ensure they get a named midwife through their labour - recommended for all births. This is the beginning of unequal healthcare - distributed on the basis of ability to pay.

Lie 7: "All these changes are improving the health service. Anyway, the Tories made more cuts when they were in power."

"Patients are now going without care and suffering on a scale which has not been seen since before the inception and creation of the NHS in 1948 - all for the sake of the alleged gains to be had from 'market efficiency'". Allyson Pollock, a public health doctor and author of NHS plc.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 30 March 2006:

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the NHS jobs massacre

New Labour's NHS lies

Call for NHS demo gets support

Huddersfield trust votes for cuts - but campaign gets stronger

Save jobs and beds at the Royal Free


Britain - Over one million strike for pension rights...

'Time for a new working-class party'

International socialist news and analysis

France - millions march for job security

USA: Millions march for immigrant workers' rights

Ukraine's 'orange revolution' goes pear-shaped

Will ETA's strategy lead to Basque national rights?

Socialist Party review

Paradise Now

Gordon's global gurus

Socialist Party campaigns

Why socialists oppose state funding of political parties

Local council services are still worth fighting for

Council elections: Great response in Lewisham

Stoke UNISON prepares for action against cuts

Strong support for minimum wage demand

Lambeth College students launch campaign against cuts

Save chemistry - sack the vice-chancellor!


Home   |   The Socialist 30 March 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleCapitalism condemned

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: French elections - What are the lessons for Corbyn's Labour?

triangleBook launch: From Militant to the Socialist Party

triangleUnison must back Corbyn's pledge to abolish zero-hour contracts with action

triangleSupport Corbyn's call to renationalise Royal Mail


triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleNHS cyberattack: budget cuts and spy agency to blame

triangleTories out! Corbyn can win with socialist policies

triangleHuddersfield Socialist Party: A socialist health policy


triangleTories forced to publish useless plans on toxic air

triangleCorbyn promises to scrap hospital parking fees

triangleCorbyn pledges freeze on 'STP' health cuts


triangleKick out the Tories: For a Corbyn-led government

triangleGood debate and response at radiographers' union conference


triangleCourageous Ebola nurse Salomé Karwah dies


triangleNHS SOS round-up


triangleHealth Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward


triangleStrikes can end nurses' poverty pay

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Aggressive bosses met by determined strike


Socialist Party

Apology from Radio 4's PM programme



Increased majority for Democracy Alliance


Socialist Party

Public meetings on the General Election



Pensions strikes continue at BMW



Housing maintenance workers plan strikes every week


Young people

Socialist ideas are energising young people



Workplace news in brief



Unison must back Corbyn's pledge to abolish zero-hour contracts with action



Blackpool deserves better - anti-austerity rally


Royal Mail

Support Corbyn's call to renationalise Royal Mail


Socialist Party

Packed meeting sets out socialist policies needed to defeat the Tories



Fund the fight against the Tories



TUSC explains general election stance on BBC show



TUSC confirms no candidates in June and full support for a Corbyn-led government with socialist policies

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle23 May Manchester bombing: Unite against terror, war and racism

triangle22 May Capitalism condemned

triangle19 May Aggressive bosses met by determined strike

triangle17 May Increased majority for Democracy Alliance

triangle17 May Corbyn's manifesto: An important step in the right direction

triangle17 May Book launch: From Militant to the Socialist Party

triangle17 May Housing maintenance workers plan strikes every week

More ...

triangle24 May Salford Socialist Party: Militant Tendency and the Labour Party

triangle25 May London Socialist Party: Tories Out - Corbyn can win with a socialist, anti-austerity programme

triangle25 May Swansea Socialist Party: The general election - will socialist policies win?

triangle25 May Huddersfield Socialist Party: A socialist health policy

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice