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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 June 2021

We don't want a USA-style healthcare system

Yorkshire Ambulance workers picket in Wakefield on 1 February 2014 photo Iain Dalton

Yorkshire Ambulance workers picket in Wakefield on 1 February 2014 photo Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Mick Griffiths, Wakefield and Pontefract Socialist Party

The health scrutiny committee on Labour-led Wakefield Council returned on 24 June for its first physical meeting since the Covid outbreak.

A report was received from the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) to update on progress made towards implementation of the government's NHS white paper proposals to create new 'integrated care systems' (ICS) by April 2022.

NHS campaigners have concerns that these vague proposals could lead to an entrenchment of private companies sitting on ICS boards. In reality, this is already happening.

Wakefield's health scrutiny committee agreed to write to the secretary of state for health raising concerns over the proposal to end scrutiny powers to refer objections to the secretary of state. But not a single councillor questioned increasing involvement of the private sector!

The CCG representative did state that it was a contract condition that private service providers pay employees the living wage. However, the commissioners apparently have no influence or control to enforce it!

The new local integrated care system is to cover Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

ICS contracts may become commercially confidential trade secrets servicing private profiteering interests. Local democratic accountability - tame as it is - will be lost altogether.

Wakefield council's health scrutiny committee has only raised concerns about the perceived weakening of its role, while not raising any objections to the very real threat of a fundamental break-up of the founding principles of the NHS.

We will not sit back and rely on councillors who timidly acquiesce to the Tories' attempts to dismantle the NHS and move it into the direction of a USA-style healthcare system.

Healthcare trade unions and community campaigners need to build a mass rank-and-file movement to expose, resist and defeat the NHS white paper, and build a fully funded and publicly owned and controlled alternative.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 30 June 2021:


What we think

NHS after 3 July protests Trade unions must organise serious action


NHS

Fight to save our NHS

Royal London Hospital

Fight the health and care bill

Keep private hands off NHS patient data

We don't want a USA-style healthcare system


Railways

Post-pandemic railway battles loom

East Mids train guards strike


News

Stop the Channel 4 sell-off!

Hopeless Hancock replaced

Millionaires multiply during pandemic

Dalian Atkinson - police found guilty of killing ex-footballer


Biden police reform

Can Biden reform the police?


Workplace news

Socialist candidate wins NIPSA general secretary election

Gateshead: Sacked electricians reinstated

Support Gary Clark for CWU executive

Support Sharon Graham for Unite general secretary

End bullying and victimisation at Oaks Park school

Unite members step up action against bullying Mungo's managers

Sandwell Leisure workers: No to 'fire and rehire'


International

The Israeli working class

German Greens: The image and reality


Campaigns

Protesters halt Nadia's eviction

Brighton: Moulsecoomb strike against academisation

York residents demand land for local community needs

Young Socialists march in London

Pride is a campaign, not a business opportunity


Readers' opinion

TV Review: GB News

Readers' comments


 

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