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Sep
2013
Sunday 29th
posted by Morning Star in Editorial

NHS privatisation


Arrogant Tories will not listen to the tens of thousands of people who marched in Manchester to protest against the government's austerity agenda and its galloping privatisation of our health service.

Neither will Liberal Democrats who have been equally enthusiastic to slash essential services, undermine living standards and hand the NHS over to rapacious privateers.

But the reality is that the 50,000 trade unionists, campaigners and ordinary decent people who marched speak for the overwhelming majority of the population.

The privatisation zealots have no mandate for their vandalism of our NHS.

It wasn't in their general election promises because they knew well that they would have received a resounding kick in the teeth.

Indeed, David Cameron spoke of the NHS being safe in his party's hands when he called for an end to top-down reorganisations.

However, they took advantage of a coalition majority to pass off an economic crisis caused by private banks as being rooted in excessive public expenditure and imposed a total top-down NHS disorganisation.

Since then public services, wages, pensions and benefits have been hammered, with the poor, old, young and disabled bearing the brunt of the coalition bankers' agenda.

Even now David Cameron and his motley crew deny butchering our NHS by forcing through tens of billions of pounds of cuts, insisting that they are simply encouraging efficiency.

But the facts lay bare the truth, with the outsourcing of billions of pounds of profitable procedures to private health providers.

Quite apart from massive payments to the Tory Party centrally, the private health sector has not lavished so much money on MPs, mainly but not exclusively Tory, without the clear intent of receiving a return.

Dozens of Tory MPs have close ties to private health providers or companies linked with them.

Labour has fewer, but new Labour former ministers Charles Clarke, Patricia Hewitt, Alan Milburn and David Miliband are among those who cosied up to the privateers to their financial benefit.

The road to undermine the ethos of our NHS has been long and paved with gold for MPs willing to assist access to contracts for the voracious private health lobby.

The government's arbitrary imposition of spending cuts on the NHS, with consequent job losses, departmental closures, treatment rationing and longer waiting lists, is a deliberate ploy to stoke public dissatisfaction with our health service.

This will encourage those able to do so to pay for private treatment and jump the queues, which will institutionalise a two-tier health service.

That will spark calls from the private insurance industry and its parliamentary hirelings to scrap Nye Bevan's NHS model financed from general taxation and free to all for an insurance-based model as in the US, where tens of millions of US citizens fall though the treatment net for lack of cover.

That is the scale of the assault taking place on our NHS.

Privateers and their political mouthpieces regard human activity that cannot produce private profit as unnatural, yet this model of health care has served our people well and continues to have their support.

Andy Burnham has already pledged Labour to repeal the coalition's Health & Social Care Act on returning to office.

There should also be a commitment to end the penetration of the NHS by the private sector that occurred on Labour's watch.

Private profits and the NHS ethos don't mix.




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