One of the UK’s leading GPs Dr Kailash Chand has said it is his ‘public duty’ to urge voters to cast their ballot for Labour in the general election.
Dr Chand – honoured for his lifetime’s work promoting local health – wrote for the SKWAWKBOX:
After nine years of the Tory government the NHS is not at breaking point.
It is broken.
A shortage of doctors, nurses, beds and care packages for elderly patients means that black alerts, trolleys in corridors and dangerous safety levels for patients are at a peak. Far from the promise of £350m per week for the NHS, Johnson and his fellow Tories have in fact starved our country’s most treasured possession of resources. But suddenly, with the general election campaign about to start, the Tories are suddenly expressing for the state of the NHS.
BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul last week reminded us:
Under this Government’s watch, patients and staff working in the NHS have endured winter after winter of overcrowded emergency departments, long delays and pitifully low staffing levels.
It should not take an election to take stock of just how bad the situation has become.
“The Tories’ NHS reforms have put the NHS on the chopping block to be sold in pieces.”
Boris Johnson’s repeated denials of NHS privatisation simply do not stand up to scrutiny. Aneurin Bevan once said: “No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of a lack of means”.
The Tory ‘reforms’ of the NHS since they came to power in 2010 not only repealed society’s contract with the health service and the government’s duty to provide fit-for-purpose healthcare – they put the NHS on the chopping block to be sold in pieces to private corporations.
There are three key problems with private health firms running our NHS.
“Every single private health firm has had shortcomings identified by the Care Quality Commission”
First, there is no room in the budget for the profit they wish to make. Virgin says it wants to make 8% profit on the NHS services they provide. At that rate, if the private sector won the £20bn of services tendered by them, it would be equivalent of £1.6bn of that taxpayers’ money being set aside for dividends to Private Healthcare’s shareholders.
Second, privately-provide does not mean better care. Every single private health firm has had shortcomings identified by the Care Quality Commission when they inspected their premises.
Worries have included poor staffing levels as well as poor and unsafe care for patients.
Lastly, private firms reserve the right to restrict treatments. Some private firms who have won contracts to provide musculoskeletal services have restricted patients’ entitlement to just six sessions – before asking them to pay for further treatment.
“Privatisation is an ideological luxury which wastes money and destabilises the NHS.”
Twenty-one NHS treatments are no longer free at the point of use in over one hundred parts of England.
Privatisation is an ideological luxury which wastes money and destabilises the NHS. It has no purpose other than diverting money to shareholders and enriching a privileged few. We all know people should always come before profit, but the current government thinks otherwise.
“If you want an example of “post-truth” politics just listen to every single pronouncement on the NHS that Boris Johnson has made since he became Prime Minister”
To the Tories, the NHS is not for patients – it is for profit, for their cronies. If you want an example of “post-truth” politics just listen to every single pronouncement on the NHS that Boris Johnson has made since he became Prime Minister.
Labour’s NHS Policies are true to Bevan’s principles:
- reverse the NHS sell-off
- create a National Care Service to provide social care
- create a state-owned pharmaceutical firm
- free prescriptions
- free NHS carparking
- 1500 more GPs
- £30bn extra NHS cash
- 20% tax on private health
- restore nursing students’ bursaries
- £6bn free social care
- £2bn extra funding for mental health services
You can judge a society by how it cares for its elderly and Labour is tackling the Tories’ failures head on with:
- home help for an additional 160,000 vulnerable people
- a National Care Service
- £6bn of free personal social care funding
- 27 million new GP appointments
- free prescriptionsFree NHS carparking
- an end to the 15-minute care visit limit
- £500 extra carers allowance
As a passionate supporter of the NHS all my working life, I consider it my public duty to urge people to cast their votes against the Tories and for the Labour Party.
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