[Wednesday 3 May 2017]
The future of the NHS and how a future government would re-build it should be a central electoral issue and be followed by open and full public consultation – Brexit should not determine how people are going to vote, says Keep Our NHS Public.
This follows Labour’s announcement on 3 May  that the NHS would be a focus for them in the coming election, and that they would call a halt to the imposition of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) for the NHS, which KONP has opposed as cost-cutting measures and a means to allow more privatisation. KONP welcomes Labour’s move to stop the headlong rush to cut services and privatise, but also cautions against the risk of simply slowing down STP roll-out unless this is done with full and adequate public consultation and the money is found to ensure any moves do not further undermine an already critically weakened NHS after years of sustained under-funding.
Tony O’Sullivan is a retired consultant paediatrician and is co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public:
“We need a strong and stable NHS – not the Conservatives. They have destabilised the very foundations of the NHS over the last 7 years. They’ve drastically weakened standards of delivery of the NHS. The Tories are not working for the NHS – we are urging all who care about the NHS to ‘Vote NHS’ in this election.
“We need a return to the stability of a publicly funded, managed and delivered health and social care service. A return to equality of access to excellent healthcare and freedom from fear about a return to paying for health bills.
“We call on the public to vote for candidates committed to funding the NHS back to health; to ending real cuts to services; to reversing the rising waits for A&E, cancer treatment and elective surgery; to working towards integrated health and social care free at the point of use; and to paying NHS staff properly so they don’t rely on food banks to feed their families.”
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Keep Our NHS Public was formed in 2005 and has a broad-based, public membership. There are over 75 local groups, and over 30 affiliated organisations plus a national association. It has the explicit aim of countering marketisation *, ** and privatisation of the NHS by campaigning for a publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable NHS, available to all on the basis of clinical need. It is opposed to cuts in service which run counter to these principles. Further details: www.keepournhspublic.com
KONP’s Campaigns and Press Officer is Alan Taman:
07870 757 309
* Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press.
Leys, C. and Player, S. (2011) The Plot Against the NHS. Pontypool: Merlin
Lister, J. (2008) The NHS After 60: For Patients or Profits? London: Middlesex University Press
Owen, D. (2014) The Health of the Nation: The NHS in Peril. York: Methuen, Chapter 4.
Player, S. (2013) ‘Ready for market’. In NHS SOS ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. London: Oneworld, pp.38-61.
**‘Competition is always best’ as a governing principle does not work when applied to healthcare. A comprehensive and universal health service is best funded by public donation, which has been shown to be far more efficient overall than private-insurance healthcare models
[Davis, J., Lister, J. and Wrigley, D. (2015) NHS For Sale. London: Merlin Press. Chapters 2 and 8.
Lister, J. (2013) Health Policy Reform: global health versus private profit. Libri: Faringdon.
Pollock, A. and Price, D. (2013) In NHS SOS, ed by Davis, J. and Tallis, R. Oneworld: London, 174.]