A new investigation by Unite has found that since 2012 a scandalous £1.5 billion has left the NHS and gone into the pockets of just 15 private companies linked to 24 Tory MPs and Lords who voted for the Health and Social Care Act.
Many of these MPs and Lords have benefited from the combination of their links to private healthcare and the sell-off of the NHS.
Lord Blackwell, Baron Higgins of Worthing, Baroness Cumberledge, Baroness Wheatcroft, Baroness Bottomley, Lord Freeman, Lord Popat, Lord Patten, Lord Glendonbrook, Lord Hunt and Baroness James of Holland Park.
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said:
“This is a national scandal and the Tories must be held to account. The government had no mandate to sell-off our NHS but they did just that. You have to ask yourself why?
“Since the vote to sell-off our NHS £12 billion pounds of our services are now in private hands. Key clinical services including cancer care, blood analysis and mental health have been sold off or are up for sale. It is time to scrap the Health and Social Care Act and save our NHS.
“David Cameron promised there would be no top-down reorganisation of the NHS, but he lied. How can we be in a situation where dozens of his MPs, voted for the sell off and had links to private healthcare companies, knowing this would open up new opportunities for the companies that pay them.
“It’s no wonder that calls to protect the NHS from TTIP, a EU-US trade deal that threatens to make the sell-off of the NHS permanent, are being ignored by the Tories.
“The next election will be make or break for our NHS. It is clear what Cameron’s preferred path is – an American style health system.”
Source – Welfare News Service, 04 Oct 2014
Hundreds of people gathered to give a rousing send off to the crusade launched by a group of North East mums protesting against the “privatisation” of the NHS.
One of the organisers, call centre worker Joanna Adams, 41, said she was “totally taken aback” at the turn out at their starting point, Jarrow Town Hall in South Tyneside.
“There must be seven or 800 people here,” she said. “It shows how many people care about the NHS. It’s really moving. It shows the majority of people are decent human beings, not the self serving and greedy people some would have you believe.”
Those taking part in the ‘People’s March for the NHS’ are to follow the historic Jarrow Crusade route of 1936 when over 200 men – and local MP Ellen Wilkinson – marched to the Houses of Parliament to protest about the lack of work.
The march this time is in response to government legislation they feel is leading to the privatisation of the NHS.
At the town hall send off speeches were given by politicians, union officials and Lizi Gray, the great granddaughter of one of the original marchers.
“It was a lovely symbolic gesture,” said Joanna.
Then, to the strains of the Proclaimers song ‘I’m Gonna Be (500miles) which the Scottish duo “gave” to the campaign and is now being used as their signature song, they set off.
The group will actually be walking 300 miles and are due to arrive at the Houses of Parliament on September 6, in time for Prime Minister’s Question time that day.
The idea stemmed from a group of 11 Darlington mums who wanted to highlight the damage caused by the Health and Social Care Act which has led to the increasing privatisation of the NHS
“The idea was floating around for a while – it seemed such a crazy idea – then in March we decided just to do it,” said Joanna.
As the marchers headed on their first leg to Chester-le-Street with many of those who originally come to give them a send off actually joining in, she added: “This is what British values are. We’re generous, we care about equality and justice, something that isn’t acknowledged. There is such a thing as society.
“They talk about choice, well this is our choice. We want the NHS. We want public services properly funded. We own it and they have no business trying to take it away from us.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 16 Aug 2014
Family doctors have raised concerns that the NHS is being deliberately undermined by Government and persistent negative headlines.
More than 90% of medics and practice managers polled by Newcastle and North Tyneside Local Medical Committee believe the health service is being unfairly damaged.
Doctors fear that Government reforms brought in by the Health and Social Care Act are increasing commercialisation and privatisation of the NHS, while some medics have accused the Coalition of using GPs as political scapegoats to damage the profession’s reputation at a time of wide-scale change.
Dr George Rae, chairman of the North East British Medical Association, said: “This NHS survey is very worrying because it is showing a huge percentage of concern among the profession.
“It is again saying that unless we start to protect the NHS and stop undermining it, we are in danger of losing something that is very important to British society and changing it out of all recognition.
“There are instances of the undermining of health services for political gain, with the blame falling very unfairly on GPs.”
Doctors have become annoyed that they are being criticised for failings in the NHS, with A & E increased attendances “unfairly blamed” on GP out-of-hours contract changes.
In the North East survey, as many as 93% of GPs and practice managers said they felt the health service was being deliberately undermined, with an average response of one doctor or practice manager per medical surgery in Newcastle and North Tyneside. Dr Ken Megson, executive of Newcastle and North Tyneside Local Medical Committee, said: “The NHS has been getting a kicking and moral is very low. I can’t understand why the profession is getting knocked all the time.”
Retired accountant Ken Sykes has used the NHS all his life and is happy with the level of care he has received.
The 72-year-old fears that the health service will be damaged by negative headlines and private companies entering the NHS.
Mr Sykes, a father-of-three, from Whitley Bay, said: “I worry about the future of the NHS and what it means for patients.
“My experience of the health service has been good and it alarms me at what is happening. It really gets to me when there is a campaign to undermine the NHS.
“If people are not happy with the health service now, then they don’t know what bad is, as it will get worse.
“Patients will suffer as private companies will not want to deal with all the nasty, tricky, long-term health complaints.”
Source – Newcastle Journal 14 April 2014
It’s farewell to your centuries-old right to free speech today, after your Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs won their bid to get the Gagging Bill passed by the House of Lords. It won’t go back to the Commons because the Lords made no amendments.
While you, personally, will be allowed to continue complaining about anything you want, you will no longer have the ability to link up with others to protest government actions in any meaningful way as such action may breach Liberal Democrat and Tory government-imposed spending limits. Your personal complaints will be deemed unrepresentative of the people.
You will still be able to have your e-petition on the government’s website – if you win enough signatures to have it debated in Parliament – ignored by the Tories and Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons.
The Liberal Democrats and Tories have even managed to rub salt into the wound…
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The Coalition government has finally put its cards on the table, calling for the completion of a ‘free trade’ agreement with the United States of America that will end democracy as we know it today.
Do you think this statement is needlessly hyperbolic? In fact, it probably does not make the point strongly enough!
You will lose the ability to affect government policy – particularly on the National Health Service; after the Health and Social Care Act, the trade agreement would put every decision relating to its work on a commercial footing. The rights of transnational corporations would become the priority, health would become primarily a trade issue and your personal well-being would be of no consequence whatsoever.
Profit will rule.
Also threatened would be any other public service that has been privatised by this and previous governments, along with any that are privatised in the future; all would fall…
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