British Medical Association’s honorary vice-President, the eminent Dr Kailash Chand OBE, looks at an NHS teetering on the edge after decades of ideological attack
Dr Kailash Chand is an honorary vice-president of the British Medical Association and a Fellow of the Royal College of GPs. He has been named by Pulse magazine one of Britain’s fifty best doctors. Here he writes in a personal capacity for the SKWAWKBOX on the desperate state of the NHS under the Tories – and the status of the Labour Party as its only hope.
It is not scaremongering to say the NHS is at the brink of extinction. If we don’t do anything the NHS is going to go. We’ve got to stand up, be counted. I think the Labour party is the one who can do it and save it.
The NHS is being torn apart by political ideology and pressure from the commercial sector. It has been ‘degraded, demoralised, confused’. Its collapse started under Margaret Thatcher, who ended the political consensus on defending the public health service.
The Labour governments led by Blair and Brown are equally to blame, as they forced onward the use of a market-based NHS system, undermining healthcare by putting profit before patients – but under Jeremy Corbyn, there is a different prospect.
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act was, a Trojan horse to mask the implementation of total privatisation. Section 75 and prospective US trade deal are about giving the NHS ‘lock stock and barrel’ to the private sector.
Since 2010, Tories have handed £98bn of NHS cash to non-NHS providers:
The Tories’ ideological commitment to markets at all costs has delivered sub-standard services at inflated prices. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn will ban all private companies running services that deal with vulnerable people and their rights, under a far-reaching plan to restrict outsourcing.
I do not support higher taxes to increase NHS funding, because there was already enough money ‘floating around’. Funding should be raised by closing tax loopholes and clamping down on corporate tax avoidance.
The NHS is on the brink. If predictions of an autumn general election are correct, you have one chance to save it – by voting in a Labour government.
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