Keep Our NHS Public
The NHS stands at a crossroads. For more than 60 years Britain has enjoyed a National Health Service that strives to be comprehensive, accessible and high value for money. But government reforms threaten both the way in which the NHS cares for people and the values it is founded on.
The threat is based on the creation of a market for profit-driven companies that answer to shareholders, not patients. This makes hospitals and health professionals, who have traditionally cooperated, compete with each other and with the private sector. The private sector is in competition with the NHS and is already breaking it apart.
If this continues:
- Income and profits will increasingly come before what is best for the patient.
- Inequalities in healthcare will get worse. Profitable services and those who can afford to pay for them will attract money at the expense of unprofitable ones.
- Forced competition will stop the NHS working as a network which shares resources and information.
- There will be winners and losers, with some units and even entire hospitals having to close. We are already seeing job losses and bed closures.
- Even more of our money allocated to health will be diverted to shareholders and company profits, and wasted on the costs of establishing and running a market. Which was not voted for, or agreed by the British public.
There is no evidence that these reforms will improve the health service.
The value of our NHS is immense and cannot be mirrored by the private sector. It must be kept in public hands, not given in pieces to the private healthcare industry.
Our aims are therefore to:
- Bring back government responsibility for the NHS.
- Make the government accountable for the NHS again - the Health and Social Care Act took this away in 2012. This must be repealed and the NHS Bill brought in this year must replace it.
- Make sure the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal (TTIP) cannot give private health companies the ability to gain lucrative NHS contracts which no government could then take off them.
- Stop making NHS organisations compete for contracts. This is expensive, inefficient and unnecessary.
- Stop plans to create more NHS Foundation Trusts.
- Stop cuts to services that are based on cost and not evidence-based, clinical need.
- Stop private finance initiatives (PFIs) and review existing ones to reduce unfair PFI deals, which saddle NHS trusts with crippling debts for decades.
All of these are aimed at ending privatisation of our NHS and keeping it a publicly owned and accountable service, free for all at the point of delivery.