The Fightback against Fragmentation and Privatisation of the NHS
Norman Traub of ‘Southend Keep our NHS Public’ writes: “In spite of the opposition
from the vast majority of the staff of the NHS -
The Bill is designed to break up the NHS and open up its £100 billion budget to big private companies, competing to provide health care. The much vaunted power, that the local GPs are supposed to hold in deciding which companies and non profit providers are allowed to compete for delivery of NHS services in their locality, will be wielded by the regulator, Monitor. This unaccountable quango and another quango, the Care and Quality Commission, will draw up the list of providers it deems “qualified” to deliver services to patients, irrespective of the views of patients, GPs and other professionals. Companies providing health care will be able to cherry pick patients , who are younger and have less complex illnesses. Increasingly, the older patients with chronic illnesses, the disabled and the mentally ill will find that their health care is compromised. The Bill allows hospitals to derive 49% of their income from private patients. NHS patients will find themselves at the back of the queue for health care at their local hospital. Hospitals that are unable to compete in the market, will either close or be taken over by private companies. GPs will become scapegoats for rationing health care and their relationships with their patients will be damaged as the health service is broken up and a postcode lottery in health care is created.
As the big companies come to dominate the market in the commissioning and provision of health services, it is the patients who will suffer and the NHS staff who will be frustrated and discontented. It is up to all of us, the health care workers in their trade unions and professional bodies, patients, pensioners and organisations such as ours, Keep Our NHS Public, who must unite and fight against the closure of wards and sacking of hospital staff. We must oppose cut backs of health services and slapping charges on existing services. We must fight for the return to the principles on which the NHS was founded, a publicly funded and publicly run NHS, free at the point of delivery.”
The Illusion of Local Democracy
One of the most common issues raised by people visiting Occupy Southend at St. Mary’s
Church centred on Southend Council and its dismissive and contemptuous attitude towards
the majority of the townspeople. Arrogant, money-
This statement is subject to revision over the next few days, to reflect the continuing input of the people of the Borough.