The hidden dangers of the NHS white paper
The Stop the NHS White Paper campaign has issued a warning to the UK people that a major step in the Tories’ privatisation of the NHS to parliament is being presented to Parliament today as part of the ‘Queen’s Speech’ indicating the government’s intentions for this parliamentary session. The group, made up of pro-NHS campaigners including members of the Socialist Health Association, says that the Government’s white paper ‘Integration and innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all’ will:
- remove the right for the sick to see a doctor – in many cases requiring patients to contact ‘call centres staffed by school leavers’
- remove the scrutiny requirement for local healthcare contracts to be available for public inspection
- merge health planning into mega bureaucratic institutions so local people can no longer get local MP’s to fight to keep local services or local hospitals open.
- allow private health corporations to sit on commissioning bodies – ‘poachers will become recruitment officers for gamekeepers’
- change the NHS into US style healthcare – reducing care for patients while increasing costs, creating the perverse incentives seen in US healthcare whereby health providers receive bonuses for cutting the care provided to those who need it, as detailed in Michael Moore’s film Sicko
The group points out that the US spends 2.6 times more per capita on healthcare but provides the worst healthcare out of 11 countries.
Even many NHS workers appear to be unaware of the threat creeping up stealthily on the UK’s greatest achievement and treasure, such is the jargon and disinformation that hides its real nature and significance – but English people (the NHS in other UK nations is a devolved issue) face losing out so that a small group of corporations and individuals can become even wealthier.
The plan is disguised in jargon that hides the real meaning and significance of what the Tories are doing – and dressed up as a response to the pandemic when in fact it is part of a Tory plan that has been in execution for more than a decade, to fragment and parcel off the health service to the Tories’ ‘mates and backers’.
The group has started a parliamentary petition against the plans, but all too typically Labour’s leadership and health spokesman have failed to inform people about the real nature of the Tory’s ‘integrated care organisation’ plans, let alone properly oppose them. In fact, Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth seems to be ‘intensely relaxed’ about them and even supportive.
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