Flag of Convenience: Behind the Junior Doctors’ Dispute

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The junior doctors are under attack as part of a much larger plan, to render the NHS like healthcare in the USA – from a publicly funded, provided and universal system to a private insurance model. Says Keep Our NHS Public National Executive member, Dr Bob Gill.

NHS US flag

This sounds incredulous to many because of the pervasiveness of carefully crafted propaganda which is reflected uncritically by mainstream media, but is happening incrementally by stealth following widespread condemnation of the idea when it was last aired publicly in the 1980s. This has resulted in the gradual transformation of the NHS over the last 20 years, with the splitting up of the unified service into business units – foundation trusts – and the creation of CCGs, which are designed to incentivise outsourcing to private contractors as well as being taken over by private insurers and other commercial interests. PFI debts have saddled many hospitals with crippling debt obligations as part of the same process.

These organisational changes have been accompanied by cultural changes throughout the NHS, which victimise whistle blowers, and undermine then remove agreements on staff working conditions in a climate of fear and systematic bullying. The degrading of the junior doctor contract represents an assault on the most powerful staff group as a preliminary to rendering the entire NHS workforce less skilled, more compliant, and cheaper: the fact that it will also be manifestly more unsafe is an irrelevance to this remorseless, ideology-driven attack.

The Five Year Forward View lays out the final stages of this process towards Americanisation of our health service.

The key to overcoming this carefully crafted attack lies in supporting the junior doctors, joining or supporting local campaigning groups, who should build on better coordination with other groups, establishing reliable contacts with local media who can be trusted, and exposing the damage being inflicted at every opportunity through every possible medium.

[This is taken from a longer article, ‘Junior Doctors’ contract and American corporate takeover of the NHS’]

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