|Dear friends across the UK,
They lied to us! The government said its NHS bill wouldn’t lead to privatisation, but wants to allow profit-hungry companies to carve up key parts of our precious health service.
Opening all NHS contracts to private companies could pave the way for asset-stripping of our health facilities. The public fuss temporarily shelved these rules this week, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is now drafting new guidelines to table in Parliament any day. Let’s hold his feet to the fire to ensure that doctors — not giant corporations — decide patients’ care.
Jeremy Hunt has a track record of chummy relations with corporate lobbyists, but we showed him our power when we got him to postpone, then ditch Rupert Murdoch’s massive BSkyB deal. Time is very short: let’s now build a massive petition to save the NHS, and circulate this email widely to friends and colleagues:
When the deeply unpopular NHS reforms were passed last year, ministers claimed they would empower doctors to choose the best treatments, and local people to decide how their hospitals were run. Government Minister Lord Howe promised “Clinicians will be free to commission services in the way they consider best. We intend to make it clear that commissioners will have a full range of options and that they will be under no legal obligation to create new markets.”
Many in government seem determined to privatise the NHS by the back door. Representatives of the 40 billion per year private health industry have been crawling all over Westminster to get a slice of the NHS. But we can save our cherished National Health Service, harnessing the outrage over this attempted secret sell-off to make the government write new rules which let GPs do what they think is best for patients and make sure that Monitor, the new health regulator, interprets these rules right.
Jeremy Hunt has shown he can’t be trusted to do right by our NHS unless we force him to do so. We’ve got the government on the run — now let’s force them to stop the big NHS sell-off before it’s too late:
Our national health service, with free and universal access and amazing dedicated staff, is the envy of the world, a source of pride and security for Britons and inspiring model to emerging democracies across the globe. Let’s keep it that way.
In hope and determination,
Meredith, Mary, Will, Ari, Wen, Ricken and the whole of the Avaaz team
Government announces ‘humiliating u-turn’ on competition regulations in NHS (Independent)
NHS competition rules to be changed (BBC)
NHS Tories’ hidden privatisation plan revealed (Mirror)
‘Scrap NHS competition rules’ say 1,000 in letter to Telegraph (The Telegraph)