In this guest article, highly-respected medic and campaigner Dr Kailash Chand OBE exposes the latest fallacy being pushed by the media: that NHS England is planning to ‘scrap laws driving privatisation of the NHS’
Pessimism about the future of the NHS after eight years of the Tory administration is the highest we have ever recorded, with 62% expecting further deterioration. The NHS’s ability to provide universal, equitable, comprehensive, high quality healthcare that is free at the point of use is seriously threatened.
Since 2010 , dozens of accident and emergency departments and maternity units have either been closed or have been earmarked for closure or downgrading. In addition, 51 NHS walk-in centers have been closed or downgraded in this time, and more than 60 ambulance stations have shut and more than 100 general practices have disappeared.
Thousands of NHS beds have closed since 2010, while mental health and primary care are in disarray and public health has been “wrenched” out of the NHS and is now in meltdown. Funding reductions for local authorities (in some places as high as 40%) have undermined the viability of many local authority social care services across England.
The only ’progress’ the Tories have made in the last eight and half years is to turn the NHS into ‘NHS plc’, increasingly drawing on public funds to line the pockets of wealthy venture capitalists or multinationals.
The endgame of the Tory plan is privatisation or the NHS’s replacement with a US-style social insurance system.
According to a report by the British Medical Association (BMA), 44 per cent of the money spent on private sector care in the NHS now goes on community health services. The BMA calculates that this represents a 271% increase in privatisation of community healthcare since 2010-11.
It is worth bearing in mind that even though proposed health spending is higher than before, the rate of increase is slow compared to long run averages. Analysis by the IFS very clearly proves that Conservative policy for NHS spending is well below the historic average of four per cent.
The universal healthcare system at the heart of British society is under threat as never before
The endgame of the Tory plan is privatisation of the NHS – or its replacement with a US-style social insurance system. The government’s new plans for health care, which are being rapidly introduced and without proper public debate or parliamentary scrutiny, turn on new models of care drawn from the US – the most expensive and unfair system in the world.
The private sector has metastasised to virtually every organ of the NHS. The agenda of privatisation continues unabated under numerous disguises. The universal healthcare system at the heart of British society is under threat as never before from privatisation, fragmentation and under-investment.
Passionate supporters of the NHS, trade unions and ordinary people alike must speak out
Passionate supporters of the NHS, trade unions and ordinary people alike must speak out about their discontent with Tory party’s NHS policies. The NHS and country is crying out for a general election to get rid of this incompetent government and bring a Labour government headed by Jeremy Corbyn to restore the dream of the creator of the NHS, Nye Bevan!
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