Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/508/3353

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 November 2007

NHS: Kick big business out!

The PUSH NHS demonstration in 2006 called for a national demonstration, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

The PUSH NHS demonstration in 2006 called for a national demonstration, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

A dizzying array of cuts and privatisation, in the name of modernisation and reform, has been thrust upon the NHS since New Labour came to power in 1997. This has left staff reeling and patients suffering the consequences of a service increasingly run in the interests of profit for the private companies involved.

Dr Jackie Grunsell, Save Huddersfield NHS councillor

The government has just announced an extra 4% a year increase in NHS funding for the next three years. This is much less than the 7.2% the NHS has been getting annually since 2002 and even below the miserly 4.4% recommended by the Wanless review earlier this year.

Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the British Medical Association has warned the money should not continue to be squandered on "costly and poor value" deals with the private sector where he said "profits are often rated higher than patients."

The government itself has had to recognise some of the problems of using the private sector.

They have announced the cancellation of a third round of independent sector treatment centres (ISTCs) and only a minority of second round contracts are expected to go ahead. This is because these centres did 50,000 less operations than expected last year with Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) effectively paying out for work that has not been done. A win-win situation for the private companies running the centres!

Despite this caution, one of health minister Alan Johnson's first moves has been to offer contracts worth 70 billion to a possible 14 private companies who will then 'help' PCTs commission services. Four of these companies are big US health insurers.

The PUSH NHS demonstration in 2006 called for a national demonstration, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

The PUSH NHS demonstration in 2006 called for a national demonstration, photo Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

Next April the Department of Health will introduce 'free choice' for patients at any hospital prepared to treat at NHS prices. With this in mind they are advertising for new suppliers of operations and diagnostics. The recently published report by Lord Darzi (health minister) also wants to bring new providers in to help extend GPs' opening hours. It's not difficult to imagine how 'traditional' GP practices could be forced to reform or die when in competition with privately run polyclinics. But such clinics are likely to be more costly and require patients to travel further to access basic services.

So what are the consequences of all these reforms for real people, experiencing real health problems in the real world? We don't have enough midwives to provide even minimum recommended standards for safe childbirth and 90 people are thought to have died due to infection with superbug, Clostridium difficile in a Kent hospital. Unfortunately there are many more statistics pertaining to real suffering I could use.

When we 'celebrate' what we call the National Health Service on Saturday 3 November in reality this is already a fractured collection of locally run services. Urgent action is needed to save it from being broken beyond repair.

Health campaigns across the country have already waited too long for this demonstration, whilst watching local services be dismantled and sold off.

To save our NHS this protest has to be a call to further action, a springboard for more serious campaigning by the health unions to build towards industrial action, including strikes, in defence of the NHS.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 November 2007:

NHS: Kick big business out!

Targets take their toll on cleaners

Feature: NHS - Time to fight for a national strike

Editorial: NHS campaigning - national strategy needed


Environment and socialism

System change to stop climate change


Workplace news and analysis

CWU executive member calls for a 'no' vote

Unison local government ballot result ignored


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007 web pages


Socialist Party news and analysis

Countering the race to the bottom

Respect in crisis - what lessons for socialists?


Asylum

The socialist interview


International socialist news and analysis

Nigeria: Day of action protest march in Osogbo

Switzerland: Racism dominates election campaign

Poland: Right-wing populist government defeated


National Shop Stewards Network

Wales shop stewards' network conference

London and South East regional conference


Workplace news and analysis

Bolton care workers' dispute: Workers' determination yields first signs of success

Vote Martin Powell-Davies for NUT vice president

Journalists: Fight low pay and long hours


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 November 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Big business:

triangleTens of thousands march

triangleBritish Steel threatened closure

triangleFracking mess

triangle100 billion for bosses - cuts for us.

triangleReclaim the Game book launch

NHS:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Do trade deals threaten the NHS?

triangleBradford: Unison members strike to stay 100% NHS

triangleCharging scandal in Warrington and Halton NHS Trust

triangleMidlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation

PUSH:

triangleHome carers victory

triangleResidents push back Barking estate landlords

triangleOne Housing tenants force housing association back

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

10/7/19

Lancashire

Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

9/7/19

Bradford

Bradford: Unison members strike to stay 100% NHS

9/7/19

Plymouth

Academy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

9/7/19

Liverpool

Residents, housing activists and pensioners mobilise to stop eviction

3/7/19

Socialist Party

Socialist Party secures new offices

3/7/19

NUS

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

3/7/19

Cumbria

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

3/7/19

NSSN

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Come to NSSN conference

3/7/19

PCS

New group launched to fight general secretary election

3/7/19

College

Stourbridge: Keep our college!

3/7/19

The Socialist

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

3/7/19

Coventry

Coventry says no to congestion charge

3/7/19

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

3/7/19

Barking

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

3/7/19

Birmingham

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999