23 February 2010

How can this happen under a Labour government?

Bosses of global healthcare firms were licking their lips this week as the government prepared to hand the running of an NHS hospital to a private company.

Hinchingbrooke hospital in Cambridgeshire will be the first to be taken over by a non-NHS company. This is a major escalation of health service privatisation.

Campaigners’ anger grew as it became clear that the chair of one company in the bidding is bankrolling a Tory MP.

Is this a confusing defeatist acceptance by this Labour government? An assumption that the only way to successfully run a hospital is to put it out to tender in the private sector? Will cash tills be installed in the corridors and receptions of NHS hospitals? How will the company look to make a profit? Does it make sense to remove (profit) capital out of the NHS budgets?

My biggest worry - and one that scares me a great deal - is the development of a political consensus that agrees that the future lies with the private sector. This cannot be allowed to happen. Profit should never exist or be mentioned within any hospital environment. The above article highlights the avenues of protest available against this proposal.

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