The Socialist 19 April 2007
Kick big business out of the NHS
NHS London - delivering private health
NHS LONDON, the biggest of the strategic health authorities, is full of voices standing up for private profit in the health service. The chief executive is management consultant Ruth Carnall. She used to be non-executive director of Care UK, a private company presently involved in negotiations over taking over primary care services in London. These negotiations will be supervised by Ruth Carnall.
Blair's health adviser Paul Corrigan is NHS London's new director of strategy and commissioning. He is a fan of foundation hospitals and privately run independent treatment centres that carry out routine hip, knee and cataract operations for profit within the NHS.
That is yet another champion of private profit in the health service. So will be Anthony Sumara, NHS London's Turnaround director, the man who will tackle the debts of the capital's hospitals. He is still heading the heavily indebted Hillingdon Primary Care Trust in west London where he infuriated people with plans to privatise almost all its services and operations.
Private Eye magazine points out that the £12.5 billion budget under NHS London's business-friendly control smells sweet to the private medical industry. NHS London has set up the London Development Provider Agency to encourage sell-offs and transfers.
Its first boss is Malcolm Stamp. He was in charge at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Trust when it took on its £220 million PFI deal which even MPs thought was the unacceptable face of capitalism.
His part-time chair is Lord Warner, former Labour minister for NHS delivery. NHS London and the nine other quangoes have only one delivery in mind - the transfer of the NHS and its potential profits into private hands.
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