NHS: Beware Privateers
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has reported that the amount of services tendered out to private firms has increased to £9.2bn. In 2014-5 it was £8.1bn, so it’s gone up by 14% since.
This gives the lie to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s assertion that “there will be no privatisation of the NHS on my watch.” Creeping privatisation is going on apace.
Dr John Lister, secretary of Keep Our NHS Public, said private firms received a far bigger slice of the budget for certain forms of care than the independent sector’s 7.3% average.
“Last year roughly 30% of all mental health spending was in the private sector and 44% of spending on child and adolescent mental health goes to private providers. Private sector domination is most complete in the provision of controversial ‘locked ward rehabilitation’, in which a massive 97% of a £304m market in 2015 was held by private companies,” Lister claimed.
“The full picture is much more alarming, with the added prospect of a Johnson government putting the NHS ‘on the table’ in any future US trade negotiations.”
‘Locked ward rehabilitation’ is where people suffering from mental illness are kept incarcerated, sometimes for years. This requires sensitive professional care and treatment. This is the last area where ‘get rich quick’ private outfits should be allowed to operate.
Margaret Thatcher intoned “the NHS is safe with us.” This has always been a Tory lie. Our health service is free at the point of use to all. It is a standing reproach to capitalism, which for centuries was incapable of providing an affordable universal health service for working class people.
Now they are nibbling away at the edges, all in the interests of their greedy big business mates.
Don’t let them get away with it!