In Britain we have one of the most effective and cost efficient systems of public health care in the world - the National Health Service. Yet for many years our health service has been under attack by politicians and capitalists who want to put profits before patients.
Privatisation of the NHS began in the 1980’s under Conservative Governments led by Margaret Thatcher. Hospitals and clinics were forced to contract out services such as cleaning and catering to private companies. The pay and conditions of the cleaners and caterers deteriorated while contractors made fat profits. Another step towards privatisation was the introduction by Health Minister Kenneth Clarke of “internal” markets whereby hospitals were forced to “compete” with each other to provide the cheapest treatments for patients.
From 1997 onwards Labour Governments continued with the drive to open up the NHS to capitalist profit-making. In 2000 Health Minister Alan Milburn’s NHS Plan aimed:
· To open up the NHS to private medical companies by contracting with them to carry out routine surgery and treatments.
· To force hospital Foundation Trusts to aim to make profits just the same as private businesses.
· To start removing staff from direct employment by the NHS with the aim of worsening their pay and conditions
Now, carrying on where Labour left off, the Tory/LibDem Coalition Government is trying to bring in a Health and Social Care Act to finish off hijacking the NHS for capitalist profit-making. Health Minister Andrew Lansley’s bill wants to:
PATIENTS, NOT PROFITS! KILL THE BILL!
The so-called NHS reforms are nothing to do with providing us with a cheaper, better standard of health care. The real aim is to open up massive new opportunities for capitalists businesses to make enormous profits as happens in the USA. There twice as much per head is spent on health care per person to provide an inferior service to that of Britain.
Politicians of all the main parties do not strive to ensure the welfare of ordinary people. Rather they serve the financial interests of the minority capitalist ruling class
, as has been shown by the handling of the financial crisis.
Only the most militant fightback against the Government and politicians will defeat this rotten attack on our health service.