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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/315/11616

From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2003

NHS -Yet more lies

NEW LABOUR have also lied about the National Health Service. They said that their proposed private treatment centres would not poach NHS staff but it's now clear that they will.

Labour health secretary John Reid has named the seven companies chosen as 'preferred bidders' to run 22 new NHS treatment centres which would carry out 250,000 operations over five years on patients in NHS waiting lists.

So now private profit-chasing health care corporations will grab a £2 billion foothold in this potentially lucrative market.

The companies - from Britain, South Africa, Canada and USA - will carry out relatively routine operations such as hip replacements and cataract operations.

They would make big profits but could lead to NHS wards closing.

The previous health secretary Alan Milburn said that NHS staff would not work in these centres but now Reid admits that this would happen.

Reid writes off opposition to his wooing of the "independent sector" as purely "political". But the British Medical Association oppose his plans, saying there was no point having up to 70% of staff in the centres coming from the NHS if that left state hospitals short of doctors to carry out their normal work.

Health workers' union UNISON said that routine hip, knee and cataract operations often subsidise complicated procedures needing long-term care.

Is that all to be sacrificed to benefit some cowboy firm's profit ledger?

UNISON and other unions could come into conflict with Blair and Co at this month's Labour Party conference over Foundation hospitals and the flow of NHS resources into the private sector.

For socialists, opposition to NHS privatisation is 'political' - we fight to rebuild a democratic, fully comprehensive national health service, fully funded through public spending and free at the point of use.

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In The Socialist 20 September 2003:

Iraq: How Many More Lies?

Defend Anti-War Protesters

NHS -Yet more lies

Action Against Killing for Profit

Postal Workers' Ballot Narrowly Lost

Interview with CWU leader Dave Ward: Challenging Royal Mail's Accounts

Press Release: Joe Higgins TD (MP) and Councillor Clare Daly Jailed

WTO Wounded But Capitalist Exploitation Still Rules

What's the socialist alternative for education?

Liverpool: The City That Fought Back

Sweden: Historic Vote Routs The Political Establishment

Israeli/Palestinian conflict

TUC Congress 2003


 

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Related links:

NHS:

triangleLow pay, stress and Covid drive: NHS staff crisis

triangleNorth London NHS - "It's going to be us who saves it"

triangleNHS Covid staff crisis

triangleCoventry: Private profits from hospital parking

triangleBarts health workers to strike for a pay rise

Health:

triangleFree prescriptions? Maybe when you're older

triangleFighting union leadership needed to win NHS pay rise

triangleSave St Mary's Leisure Centre in Southampton

triangleCovid news in brief

Labour:

triangleObituary - Pauline Wall

trianglePeople's Budget: We beat council cuts before, we will again

triangleCorbyn's Peace and Justice Project

Hospitals:

triangleTory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

triangleSolidarity to the striking workers at Charité and Vivantes hospitals in Berlin

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