Privatised 111 system’s errors, along with other government decisions, are dangerous – and predominance of fatalities means it is harming BAME people and the poor disproportionately. Labour leader’s failure to call government to account will lead to more deaths
Kier Starmer’s links to private health are putting people in poverty and those from ethnic minorities in disproportionate danger in the coronavirus crisis. The Labour leader has employed a number of aides from a private health background – and he has failed to go in hard on Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock over the negative effects of their eagerness to push NHS services and provision out to private providers and on the Tories’ incompetence and ideologically-driven decisions.
The privatised NHS 111 service, for example, has been widely criticised its use of untrained operatives following scripts and for its lack of capacity, which families have complained have caused deaths. And because the virus is more deadly to BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people, they will be at far greater risk of suffering fatal consequences because of the system’s shortcomings.
The Office for National Statistics has confirmed its findings that the coronavirus kills people in poverty well over twice the rate of wealthy sufferers:
And people from from ethnic minorities worst of all: almost double the death-rate for black women and more than four times for black men:
The impact of the Tories’ policies and ideologically-driven decisions on people from ethnic minority backgrounds is not limited to deaths linked to the 111 service, as a glance at any image showing the front-line NHS staff killed by the virus will show:
More than 200 NHS staff have now died of COVID-19.
But Keir Starmer has said ‘now is not the time’ for too much criticism of the government’s performance and decisions – and he has been silent on the vast problems with the 111 service and their consequential effects.
Those who feared the consequences of his appointments of aides from private health will find it hard not to link the two phenomena – including many Labour insiders. One put it in stark terms to the SKWAWKBOX:
Every time Keir or his advisers push the ‘not the time’ line, he enables the government to keep doing what it’s doing and more black or poor – and often both – people are dying.
He needs to put the health of the poor ahead of the egos of his staff and the interests of the private health sector. We are failing the people and it is costing lives.
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