Public health not private profit

DISABLED PEOPLE will have their benefit cut while big business get a
£3 billion windfall from the NHS. There’s no doubting whose side this
third Labour government is on.

Christine Thomas

The private market for non-emergency treatment in the health service
will be nearly doubled. The privateers will get their grubby hands on
another quarter of a million patients, charging prices up to 15% above
those in the NHS.

"To maximise profits these private providers are ‘cherry
picking’ the high volume, low-risk routine procedures" wrote one
surgeon in the Guardian during the election. "The result will
increasingly be to leave the NHS to pick up the 40% to 50% of patients
with more high-risk surgical needs… that will significantly increase
the NHS hospitals’ average cost per patient".

The market madness which has caused chaos on our railways is now
taking over the NHS. Money will follow patients as hospitals ‘compete’
for business. Blair says this will increase patient choice. But
hospitals which do not attract enough patients will end up cutting
services and even closing down. What kind of choice is there if your
local hospital is not ‘competitive’ enough, has to shut and the nearest
hospital is miles away?

Between a third and a half of NHS trusts have failed to balance their
books in the last financial year. Yet Blair is talking about making it
easier for foundation hospitals to borrow money, taking them even
further out of NHS control.

At the same time, private construction companies and banks will carry
on making billions out of the Private Finance Initiatives, with
taxpayers paying into their coffers for the next 30 years or more.

Privatisation and the ‘dog eat dog’ mentality of the market are
destroying the NHS.

We say:

  • People before profit
  • Private companies out of the NHS.
  • Reverse all NHS privatisation.
  • Massively increase spending on health.
  • Rebuild the NHS under democratic control.