This is Trowbridge surgery in Hackney Wick. It is one of 11 GP surgeries in NE London and 49 across London that have just been sold to Operose, a subsidiary of Centene, which is a huge US health insurance corporate. This was all done with no public debate and no say for patients.
The expansion of Operose has raised concerns among campaigners who believe the take over demonstrates how much the role of private companies in the NHS has been strengthened in recent years, and may be further strengthened still.
Dr Jackie Applebee, chair of Doctors in Unite said: "We have been warning for years that US healthcare firms are circling to swoop on the NHS. Our fears are dismissed by politicians and senior NHS managers. The public are constantly told that the NHS is not being privatised.
"The advent of Centene onto the general practice landscape reveals yet again, that this is a lie. In reality the NHS is being parcelled up and sold off under the radar."
Politicians recently claimed that the leaked Health and Care White Paper would reduce privatisation. However, Centene, the huge corporate behind this take-over, is one of a host of mainly US companies already accredited under the government’s new plans as part of the so-called ‘Health Systems Support Framework’. Companies in this list are likely to receive huge contracts to deliver the new structure proposed in the White Paper. Even before the new White Paper becomes law, this devastating take-over shows how easily and secretly a huge US corporate can take over even our local GP surgeries - the most familiar and valued part of our NHS.
This article was written by Marion Macalpine member of Hackney Keep Our NHS Public