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JEREMY CORBYN will join forces with doctors on Thursday to protest against London GP practices being sold off to a private United States healthcare company.
The former Labour leader and members of Doctors in Unite (DiU) will target the head offices of Operose, a subsidiary of US healthcare giant Centene, which recently took over the privately owned AT Medics and runs 37 GP practices across the capital.
Unite said the socially distanced protest in central London, also supported by Labour MP Apsana Begum, will highlight the “accelerating privatisation of the NHS by stealth.”
The union, which has 100,000 members in the health service, hit out at “a culture of Tory cronyism that is rapidly enveloping the NHS” and called for an urgent independent inquiry into the ever-expanding Greensill lobbying scandal.
It has been revealed that former prime minister David Cameron and company founder Lex Greensill met Health Secretary Matt Hancock to discuss a new payment scheme for health staff over a “private drink” in 2019.
DiU chair Jackie Applebee said: “The public needs to wake up to the fact the NHS is being steadily sold off to profit-hungry companies.
“[We must] cherish the NHS as an organisation free at the point of delivery.
“If we are not vigilant, these founding principles [from] 1948 will become pale shadows of themselves.”
Keep Our NHS Public’s Dr Louise Irvine said: “[This takeover] is a further huge step towards the commercialisation of general practice.
“Costs will be cut and profits generated by reducing the employment of higher-skilled staff. We don’t believe this is in the interests of patients.”
An Operose Health spokesperson said: “Like other NHS providers, our care is free at the point of delivery, regulated and inspected by the Care Quality Commission.”
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