Fight for the NHS. Oppose the White Paper

World class healthcare for all. That is how the NHS was founded, and we want that back. “What we have we hold”! We will not give up the NHS.

“They would not dare privatise our NHS”

We are writing this to say, YES, they are doing just that, but under a smoke screen. We are saying that privatisation puts private profit way ahead of public good and leads to pain, suffering and denial of medical care.

Repair the NHS – reject the government’s “Integration & Innovation” White Paper

This whitepaper is a deep threat to the NHS as we know it. We are calling for a big campaign to explain the threat to as many people as possible, to build a popular campaign to defend the NHS and resist this White Paper.

If you want to know more about the White Paper please see other articles on this blog, and we recommend this article from calderdaleandkirklees999callforthenhs.wordpress.com

Deborah Harrington has written this briefing for MPs, Keep our NHS Public has mountains of information and there are dozens of campaigns around the country.

The structure of the system which the government and NHS England have already implemented, and which will be made legal by the legislation if it passes, is like this;

  1. The NHS is split into 42 areas.

 2. They claim to unify health and social care, but social care is privatised means tested and a mess

They will cash limit the health services on offer in each area and make councils and NHS keep to certain targets. To meet the targets, treatments will be restricted and rationed rather than be offered according to the medical need of the patients. They will open the door to more private providers and not content with that, they will allow private organisations to sit on the boards governing these areas making decisions about what limits will be placed on the health services offered, who will be given the contracts and which of us will be lucky enough to be allowed to access those much-reduced services.

All trade unionists in the NHS need to be very aware of the HSSF which allows companies to be allocated NHS work without going through  contractual scrutiny This includes employing staff. We all know what outsourcing has done to wages and conditions.

Most NHS mental health in-patients are in privately owned beds already.

Against Labour Party policiy This re-design of the NHS is specifically against Labour Party Policy https://www.sochealth.co.uk/2017/09/25/labour-party-conference-nhs-composite-motion/.

As NHS campaigners, so often people say to us “They wouldn’t privatise the NHS, they really would not dare”, but the government ARE doing it behind closed doors. They are doing it behind a smoke screen using the Covid pandemic to cover up their actions, but this privatisation was going on long before Covid hit.

Rationing and Charging

Two years ago, Warrington Hospital published their “MY CHOICE” price list for operations on the NHS. They planned to charge patients for operations which they previously would have had free on NHS e.g. new knees, hips and cataracts. However, the government has raised the bar for qualifying for such operations meaning many people are denied the operation and told it would not be clinically beneficial to them. However, in the next breath Warrington NHS hospital was willing to do that apparently “unnecessary” operation, using NHS staff, on NHS wards and in NHS theatres, PROVIDED patients could pay e.g., £7000 for one new hip or £1800 for a cataract operation This shows how charging for mainstream treatments will come in unless we stop them and how paying patients will be prioritised in NHS hospitals over non-paying patients, in other words a two tier system where people who can pay will be get better treatment and those who cannot pay will either get into debt to pay for it, or be left to suffer.

We demand a full repair and reinstatement

 

We are a coalition of  NHS defence campaign groups in Cheshire and Merseyside starting a fresh campaign to bring this to people’s attention including;

  • Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital Campaign
  • Keep our NHS Public  both in Merseyside and in Cheshire
  • Defend our NHS Wirral
  • Liverpool City region Socialist Health Association
  • Crewe Trades Council. Wirral trades Council
  • Cheshire West Trades Council
  • And many  ordinary people

We are expecting more to join us shortly. Please do join in our campaign by emailing us on TakebacktheNHS@protonmail.com

The NHS was founded to

  • Provide healthcare for  every single person funded by the government from tax, free at the point of need. This was a wonder when it was first created in 1948, it transformed the lives of the post-war population and successive generations and still would be a wonder in many areas of the world.
  • be a public service and not for profit. This now is being eroded. Matt Hancock said recently that those who oppose private sector involvement did so for purely ideological reasons. Well,  that’s us, because we believe ordinary people should have excellent health care, free at the point of need.
  • provide all the treatments for all the people and avoid a two-tier system
  • employ professionally qualified staff at decent national wages, in decent conditions
  •  improve the health of all the population by eradicating diseases. We can thank the NHS for making TB an unusual disease rather than a rampant one, for getting rid of polio and for making giving birth so very much safer. The creation of the NHS removed the fear every family felt at the thought of getting sick or having an accident which meant they could not work and support their family. The workhouse was a looming, ever present threat.
  • We are forever in the debt of the NHS staff for the work they did on the frontline during the pandemic, and we know they  are  tired out after it. We owe them! The government owes them and should pay them the 15% pay rise they deserve.

Restricting treatment

It will take a while before we must pay for all  treatment but restricting the availability of some treatments is already happening. Clearing ear wax is a well-known one, now costing £60 at Specsavers. The Patients Association, when interviewed about proposals to restrict still more treatments, said  in the Guardian

“Putting “barriers” in the way of people expecting to have so many previously commonplace tests and treatments would lead to “harm and distress”, said Rachel Power, the association’s chief executive.

“Patients have seen the range of treatments offered by the NHS cut back over recent years, and the NHS has been upfront about this being to save cash. Often there are good reasons for not using these ‘low value’ treatments as a first choice, but they are appropriate for some patients.

“This is of a piece with the restrictions on prescribing over the counter medicines [which NHS England brought in last year], and patients have told us of the harm and distress this broad programme of restrictions has caused them,” she added.

“As a result of this rationing, we know that patients who can afford to pay privately are doing so, while those who can’t are going without and suffering. This is exactly what having an NHS is supposed to prevent.”

Profit

There are many of the world’s largest for-profit health care corporations already active in the NHS. This is their own webpage.  You can see a list here.

More than that we know profit always comes first in “for profit” organisations. Look at the Volkswagen diesel scandal. They risked the planet’s climate for a few euros profit. Look at the lies that the tobacco industry pushed out, and how the sugar industry lied to us.

Government funding for health care is a very secure source of income for big multi-national health care corporations. If they can get their hands on the big pot of public money set aside for “NHS” healthcare, on the false claim that they are more efficient, that is a better way of making money than collecting Insurance from millions of people, chasing unpaid medical bills and having to constantly look for business on the open market.

In the US system personal insurance policies, employer’s insurance policies, the veteran’s insurance, Medicare and Medicaid and other schemes all  stream the money to the big health care corporations. Even with insurance some US patients can be refused care or given enormous bills. They employ people to refuse treatment on all kinds of grounds and then there is the Co Pay system not to mention the huge administration costs of collecting in payments and chasing debts.

Steadily increasing private sector involvement, restricting the treatments available and pushing the private hospital sector is happening now!

During the  pandemic we saw the private sector run rampant making huge profits whilst our hospital staff went short of PPE, and we saw the private health sector rescued from financial difficulties

This article describes how this happened;

… taking every opportunity to ensure the pandemic has proved a bonanza for private-sector healthcare interests. However, this has not just been about individual contracts in, for example, test and trace, vaccination, or personal protective equipment; the crisis has been used to both rescue the private acute market following 2 years of contracted revenues and to provide enormous stimulus for its future growth

We cannot discuss the NHS without discussing the risk of a third wave of Covid 19 infections. We demand that the Government act to stop a third wave of Corona Virus infections!

The process of infesting the NHS with private companies has been going on for years, but the white paper takes it much further.

They will privatise, they are doing it now, all cloaked in deceit and false publicity.

The NHS represents a huge prize for the big international corporations that want to privatise it.  They want the NHS as a cash cow, we want it to keep our people healthy, to provide timely treatment when we need it.

“If it was true that they were privatising it people would be up in arms and out on the streets”.

Well, we are sounding the alarm organising the resistance, calling you out onto the streets now!

It is true and we are up in arms about it!

We are happy to speak to people anywhere invite us to speak at your community centre, your church, your  playgroup, your workplace or any other organisation you are part of.

ARE YOU WITH US?  Please email us TakebacktheNHS@protonmail.com

Keep in touch and volunteer to help us.

Time to pick a side. We have picked the NHS

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