Tag Archives: privatisation

Health service in England to be privatised as Tories pass misnamed ‘Health and Care’ Bill

Snout in the trough (all right – bucket): many Conservative MPs have shares in private health companies that will profit from this legislation.

So that’s that. The National Health Service in England is to be carved into 42 smaller organisations that will be passed into the hands of private, profit-making health companies:

The boards of the new Integrated Care Systems, that commission services, will be dominated by profit-grubbers, and they’re not going to give the non-profit organisation a chance to take money out of their shareholders’ pockets.

This means the duty to provide a comprehensive health service is being abolished. The quality of healthcare in all parts of England will plummet as a result.

The only hope now is for the Lords to bounce the Bill back with significant amendments. This is a possibility as the Tories are in a minority there. But the Commons will most likely just send it back with the amendments reversed because many Tory MPs have shares in profit-making health firms.

Let’s also spare a moment to remind ourselves that Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour leader, warned everybody in the United Kingdom that this was the Conservative plan, with more than 450 pages of evidence, in the run-up to the 2019 election.

His words were ridiculed and Boris Johnson’s Tories were elected with a landslide majority after around 13 million people voted for them.

By a curious coincidence, the NHS waiting list is expected to swell past 13 million over the next few months – due entirely to the same Tory government’s utter indifference to your health.

Many of those waiting more than a year, in pain and suffering, for routine procedures will be the very same Conservative voters who put Johnson and his raiders in power. Do they now have buyers’ remorse?

Not a bit of it!

Like petulant children, Tory voters hate being told they were wrong and will self-harm as a response to being told how to help themselves.

Trust me on that.

I’ve been pointing out Tory failures for years and that’s why This Site’s readership is so… er… exclusive.

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As the misnamed Health and Care Bill goes before MPs, here’s what it will do

Not for sale: sadly, this is just an aspiration now – held by those of us who still think healthcare should be based on patient need and not on provider profit.

[Vox Political first published this article in July. As the Health and Care Bill goes before MPs tomorrow and Tuesday (November 22-23), this seems an appropriate time for a reminder of how they intend to butcher your health service.]

Services will be cut or rationed and the NHS will become an unregulated market for healthcare firms under Sajid Javid’s contradictorily-named Health and Care Bill which – if enacted – will support neither.

That’s the message from Keep Our NHS Public campaigners.

The Bill will break the NHS into 42 separate ‘Integrated Care Systems’ (ICS), each with its own – tight – budget that could lead to cuts in care.

These new organisations would be open to the private sector – and the removal of competitive tendering means contracts could be handed straight to asset-stripping profiteers.

Already, 200 firms are connected to the new ICS structure, including at least 30 US-based health insurance companies.

Companies could be given access to confidential patient information, more patient care will be given by less qualified staff who are cheaper, and non-urgent referrals to hospital delayed or refused because of pressure to make savings.

A drive towards cash-saving digital services means face-to-face GP appointments may end.

The long-awaited overhaul of the care system may end up being a demand on already-overworked family carers to take on more unpaid work as unprofitable community services are stripped away altogether.

National agreements on pay, terms and conditions for NHS staff may be swept away with employees ordered to work wherever private-sector employers find it easiest to make a profit – undermining team working, union organisation and continuity of care.

Oh, and you remember the much-anticipated return of responsibility to the Secretary of State? It means a politician will be able to make devastating decisions about the NHS without any democratic accountability.

The Health Secretary will be able to deregulate jobs – offering them to candidates who don’t have the right qualifications but are available for the right price, risking harm to patients and interfering with professional judgement and staff development.

The NHS will be exempt from the Public Contract Regulations 2015, meaning it will be impossible to reject bids for contracts on the grounds of non-compliance with environmental, social, or labour laws guaranteeing Freedom of Association and the Right to Strike, or on the basis of a bidder’s previous history.

The Health Secretary will also impose local service reconfigurations, weakening or abolishing the right and power local authorities currently have to scrutinise significant health changes.

According to Dr John Lister, Secretary of Keep Our NHS Public and health policy academic

This Bill will not treat even one extra patient, or recruit one extra nurse

He asked why the new law is being deemed so urgent and important – but isn’t it obvious?

Javid, Johnson and the other Tory parasites want to turn your health into a profit-making industry for their donors as soon as possible.

I’ve just picked out the headline issues. Read more details here: Health and Care Bill means lucrative NHS contracts will be dished out ‘without competition’ | Left Foot Forward: Leading the UK’s progressive debate

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‘Private healthcare’ is an oxymoron. Its supporters are ordinary morons

If you’re British, and haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that the Tory Bill to accelerate privatisation in the National Health Service is to be debated by MPs again tomorrow (Monday, November 22).

It has come under sustained attack from health experts and campaigners who are committed to maintaining the high quality of care that we have come to expect from the NHS – quality that will be abandoned in favour of profit if the Tory Bill is passed into law.

And let’s make this clear: Profit Harms Patients.

Of course it does. If you’re running a health service to make money, then you don’t want people to get better.

You want them to stay sick so you can keep leeching money off of them.

And private health companies are likely to achieve that prolonged sickness in any event as many of their operations are botched so badly that the NHS needs to come in and clear up the mess in many cases. Or it did, the last time I heard anything about it.

That’s why people are saying things like

and

If you haven’t contacted your MP to demand they oppose the Bill, there’s an obvious question you need to ask yourself: Why not?

Don’t tell us, “Aw, well, s/he is a Tory so there’s no point.” There is always a point. If you show these people there’s enough opposition out here to mount a serious challenge to their career come election time, they’re going to start wondering whether it’s worth the risk.

If you’re outside England, don’t tell us, “Aw, well, it’s only in England so it won’t affect us.” It will affect you. I live in Wales and some procedures aren’t available here; if I need them, I’ll have to go across the border. The same applies in Scotland and I understand in Northern Ireland too.

And don’t tell us, “Aw, well, Labour’s going to try to amend it so it’s not quite as bad.” Labour cannot amend this Bill in any way that will help! And the simple fact is that Keir Starmer’s party doesn’t want to. It’s filled with Red Tory weasels who say they don’t like private health while actually supporting it (with a few honourable exceptions).

It’s past time ordinary people in the UK woke up and realised what they voted for.

My honest opinion is that it’s probably too late. I doubt many Vox Political readers were stupid enough to vote for the NHS Privatisation Party (Conservatives) in 2019 but your neighbours probably did, or you have family or friends who did, on the basis that the guy who opposed it once saw a mural (or for some other nonsense reason).

And we all politely let them vote to turn healthcare in the UK from a right into a privilege for the very wealthy.

Put it all together and calling on your MP to oppose the Bill is the least you can do.

You can write to them via They Work For You – it’s easy.

Will you?

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Ambulance crew says people are dying because Tories are defunding & privatising NHS

This is damning – and it confirms what This Writer suggested earlier:

It isn’t sustainable at all, and we know why. Firstly, the Conservatives have withdrawn huge amounts of funding from the National Health Service:

Secondly, much of what little remains is being given to private companies that aim to profit from your illness rather than improving your health. They are making matters worse:

By the way, let’s not hear anything about Covid-19 making matters worse. Those days are long past:

From the graph, it seems 5,000 beds or fewer are taken up with Covid-19 patients.

The real Covid problem, of course, has always been that too many NHS beds have been removed altogether from the service – possibly because of the defunding that created a staff shortage of 100,000?

Sadly the NHS crisis will continue under the Conservatives because they want to privatise health altogether; they don’t see the profit in a healthy nation.

And a Labour government under Keir Starmer won’t help because his policies align with those of the Tories on most issues including this.

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Failure of NHS privatisation is proved by harm to patients kept waiting in ambulances

Waiting: ambulances outside a hospital. Strange how privatisation was supposed to improve healthcare but, since it was brought in, the NHS has only deteriorated.

A report for ambulance service chiefs shows that around 160,000 hospital patients in England are being harmed every year because of delays getting them out of ambulances.

As many as 12,000 – or one in 10, could be suffering severe harm like a cardiac arrest, loss of a limb or brain damage.

The ambulance drivers aren’t at fault.

The problem lies with the UK’s Conservative government that has de-funded the National Health Service to a critical degree, while also inviting profit-making private firms to provide some services – taking even more money from healthcare provision.

In a way, we should be grateful for the collapse of healthcare provision since 2010, under the Conservatives.

The delays that have kept patients waiting in ambulances – and thereby risking serious injury – have only become seriously harmful since the Tories brought private providers into the English health service.

They demonstrate more clearly than words that the introduction of those private providers into NHS England has been a disaster for patient care.

And they show that the best possible strategy for the future of healthcare in England is to ban private profit-grubbers from the NHS – forever. Otherwise this nightmare will only get worse.

Source: Ambulance delays outside hospitals are harming 160,000 patients, leaked report warns | The Independent

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Energy firms: Miliband sells Labour’s soul so asset-strippers profit from privatisation

Power and pollution: Ed Miliband wants government to take over failing energy firms, restore them to health at huge cost to the public purse, and then sell them back so the 1% can rip us all off again. Why should we, when they have done so little (for example) to tackle climate change?

Read Natalie’s response to Ed Miliband’s industrial-disaster interview with Andrew Marr, then watch the clip. Then read her response again.

She’s right, isn’t she?

Miliband was saying that Labour would take struggling private energy companies back into public ownership – that’s nationalisation, for those of you who are too young to remember when we had industries owned by the government. That’s fine.

He was saying Labour would then use public money – your money – to restore those concerns and improve them. That’s fine too.

And then he ruined it by saying Labour would then re-privatise them so profit-grubbing shareholders could once again suck out all the cash they could while failing to invest in the system or the service, knowing they can always rely on the government to bail them out in the future.

That is no way to run a country.

Energy privatisation has failed.

The owners of the privatised companies – one-third of whom are foreign governments – are charging us the Earth (literally, when you consider the climate change implications) for very little, and when they get into trouble they are handing the mess back to us to sort out.

That is not good business and there is no way any self-respecting government – of any colour – would accept it.

There’s certainly no reason any voter should put up with it.

Miliband has hammered another nail into the coffin of StarmerLabour’s election hopes.

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State not responsible for health care says Javid – lining up NHS for full privatisation?

Covid Javid: he was happy to whip off his mask (in a secure environment) but his words and his deeds as Health and Social Care Secretary mark him out as a danger to public health.

I know his nasal whine is irritating but try to get through the following clip of Sajid Javid’s speech to the Tory conference so you can understand what he’s saying.

I think Alex Andreou has it pretty much right:

Family first, then community, then the state? What?

So, with Covid-19 (for example), by Javid’s lights, we should all have sought a remedy from our families? That would have achieved nothing apart from their infection.

Having failed there, were we then supposed to go to the community – other people’s families – and infect them too?

By the time we got round to asking the state – as demanded by Javid in his speech to the Tory conference – many of us would already have been dead.

What a puerile claim from our supposed Health and Social Care Secretary! No wonder 1,000 people are dying every week while he mouths these platitudes.

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Tory underfunding means 1.2 MILLION people are waiting for vital NHS treatment

Waiting for treatment: thanks to Tory policies, 1.2 million people are being made to wait for vital treatments and operations.

This is the flipside of the Tory plan to give £2 billion to private health firms for non-essential health procedures.

They give £200 million to the privateers’ bank accounts and it isn’t available for brain surgery, cataract treatment and gynaecology – among other vital work.

And the waiting list grows.

This was a conscious choice, made by Tory leaders years before anybody dreamed of a crisis like Covid-19.

They wanted to starve the NHS of cash and resources in order to nudge patients and the general public into the false belief that a socialised medical service can’t possibly work.

(In fact, a system in which everybody pays into a national health scheme is the only way everybody can benefit from affordable health care. Privatised or insurance-based schemes are always either too expensive for most people to afford, meaning they have to live with – and sometimes die with – preventable health problems, or they are rip-offs designed to take cash from gullible punters.)

They didn’t – and don’t – care that people are suffering, and may die, because of their privatisation push, that is not based on fact but on fanatical right-wing ideology.

The long and the short of it is that, if you are waiting months and years for vital treatments and operations, to the point where it is causing you pain and/or even endangering your life, there is a reason.

It is because Conservatives like health secretary Sajid Javid, former health secretary Matt Hancock, and prime minister Boris Johnson – along with all the other Tory government ministers going back to 2010 – wanted you to suffer; wanted your life to be in danger.

If you know anybody who voted Tory, they voted for you to suffer in this way.

And for those of you who actually voted Conservative yourself: what were you thinking? That’s actual self-harm.

Source: Almost 1.2m people waiting at least six months for vital NHS services in England | NHS | The Guardian

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Reactions to NHS privatisation Bill scream how bad it is. No comment from Starmer though

Masked like a bandit, not to protect others: it seems Keir Starmer is funded by a private donor who profits from illness and injury and cannot be trusted to safeguard our NHS.

What a strange man Keir Starmer is. His name was on Labour’s amendment calling for the Health and Care Bill to go no further towards becoming an Act of Parliament – but, after it failed, he has nothing to say against the legislation.

This Writer has waited more than 24 hours for Starmer’s considered response to the progress of a Bill that will seriously harm the UK’s greatest institution – and his party’s greatest achievement. Not a dicky bird.

He seems to be almost entirely alone, though. Labour’s MPs had a ‘form’ tweet to send out:

Others had more to say:

The Open Democracy article states that, considering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government has two choices: it can either support the NHS to meet its legal obligations to provide us with the healthcare we need for the years ahead – or it can reduce those obligations; reduce our rights to access healthcare.

It says the Health and Care Bill proposes reducing the government’s obligations to secure NHS care for us all, further than the Tories have gone already – and cutting our ability to get that care. This fits with the conclusions previously put forward by This Site.

Labour’s Jon Trickett highlighted something the Bill doesn’t address:

Well, I did say the Bill would not make it possible to employ a single extra nurse or treat a single extra patient. Perhaps I should have emphasized that medical staff who are already employed by the NHS would find it hard to survive on the meagre pay it provides in the future.

Trickett makes other good points:

Of course, Jeremy Corbyn warned us about the Tory threat to the NHS in the run-up to the 2019 general election, as Cornish Damo reminds us:

How curious that Keir Starmer hasn’t thought to remind anybody of that!

Perhaps he’d rather not be associated with anything said by his immediate forerunner – even though Mr Corbyn was right.

Then again, perhaps there’s a more vulgar explanation:

Is this the answer, then?

Will access to the National Health Service in England be restricted by the Tories – at the demand of their paymasters in private industries that profit from illness and injury – with only token opposition from Labour because Starmer’s paymasters are also in private industries that profit from illness and injury?

Is that why we haven’t heard a word from him about it?

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Law to put private companies at the centre of the NHS passes second reading. Where are the news reports?

Backhander: the new Health and Care Bill will apparently allow private companies to take your tax money – intended to support the NHS – and then use “commercial confidentiality” laws to hide how they spend it.

What a blackout.

The Health and Care Bill – a planned law by the Conservative government that aims to put private, profit-making businesses at the centre of the English NHS – passed by a huge majority just after 7pm today (July 14).

At the time of writing – more than two and a half hours later – I found only one news report about it, in Scottish website The National.

Where’s your report, BBC? Where’s yours, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News? How about you, The GuardianThe Mirror? Anyone else at all?

During the debate, health minister Edward Argar admitted that the Bill would lead to increased private influence in the NHS – but tried to sugar-coat it.

“We are determined to embrace innovative potential wherever we find it,” he said.

Let’s consider what he calls “innovative potential”:

The Bill will break the NHS in England into 42 separate ‘Integrated Care Systems’ (ICS), each with its own – tight – budget that could lead to cuts in care.

These new organisations would be open to the private sector – and the removal of competitive tendering means contracts could be handed straight to asset-stripping profiteers.

Already, 200 firms are connected to the new ICS structure, including at least 30 US-based health insurance companies.

Companies could be given access to confidential patient information, more patient care will be given by less qualified staff who are cheaper, and non-urgent referrals to hospital delayed or refused because of pressure to make savings.

A drive towards cash-saving digital services means face-to-face GP appointments may end.

The long-awaited overhaul of the care system may end up being a demand on already-overworked family carers to take on more unpaid work as unprofitable community services are stripped away altogether.

National agreements on pay, terms and conditions for NHS staff may be swept away with employees ordered to work wherever private-sector employers find it easiest to make a profit – undermining team working, union organisation and continuity of care.

The much-anticipated return of responsibility to the Secretary of State means a politician will be able to make devastating decisions about the NHS without any democratic accountability.

The Health Secretary will be able to deregulate jobs – offering them to candidates who don’t have the right qualifications but are available for the right price, risking harm to patients and interfering with professional judgement and staff development.

The NHS will be exempt from the Public Contract Regulations 2015, meaning it will be impossible to reject bids for contracts on the grounds of non-compliance with environmental, social, or labour laws guaranteeing Freedom of Association and the Right to Strike, or on the basis of a bidder’s previous history.

The Health Secretary will also impose local service reconfigurations, weakening or abolishing the right and power local authorities currently have to scrutinise significant health changes.

The Bill will not treat a single extra patient, nor will it recruit even one more nurse.

That is exactly what I told my Conservative MP, Fay Jones, when I wrote asking her to speak against the Bill, and to vote against it. Of course, she did neither. She’s a Tory drone.

Fortunately, some others had the courage to stand up for their constituents who would be affected (including those in Scotland and Wales, of course).

Dr Philippa Whitford, SNP health spokesperson, said the Bill could mean private companies will be able to take public cash and not have to publish accounts of how it is used.

“It is hard to see this as anything other than a blatant conflict of interest,” she said. “Private companies hide behind commercial confidentiality and don’t publish accounts of how they spend public money.”

Labour’s Zarah Sultana said the Bill “will put on steroids the cronyism we’ve seen in this pandemic, where Tory mates and donors having handed billions of pounds in dodgy Covid Government contracts, and it will implement a healthcare model that incentivises cuts and closures, rationing funding to health boards. This dangerous Bill is another step to privatisation.”

But they were rare voices of reason among the bleating of almost 360 Tory sheep.

A Labour amendment to deny the Bill its second reading was voted down by 359 votes to 218, and the Bill passed to the committee stage of the legislative process by 356 votes to 219.

It seems Boris Johnson and Sajid Javid want to pass this Bill into law before the end of the current Parliamentary session on July 22. With this kind of complicity from their party faithful on the Green Benches, they seem certain to succeed.

And with an apparent news blackout on coverage of this crisis for publicly-provided health care, it seems the NHS will pass into the hands of the asset strippers before most of us even know it could.

Source: Health and Care Bill: NHS ‘takeover’ legislation passes second reading | The National

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