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Friday, November 26, 2010

The corporate takeover of the NHS

Today was a very historic- and very sad day- for Britain's state health service: the first corporate takeover of a district general hospital in the history of the NHS.

Louise Nousratpour reports:

A private company headed by a former banker was chosen to run an entire NHS district general hospital today in an unprecedented step towards a fully privatised US-style health system.

Circle - headed by former Goldman Sachs banker Ali Parsa - was named as the recommended bidder to run services at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, by the NHS East of England.

It is believed that the operating franchise is the first of its kind for an NHS acute hospital in England.

Former Goldman Sachs bankers taking over the running of state hospitals?

Anyone who died in the 1970s and came back to life in Britain today would not believe just how much we've sold out to capital. And of course, as I've argued many times before, capital won't be satisfied until every single publicly-owned asset is in their hands.


Chris H said...

It's so very dispiriting when we read of things like this happening. The jewel in Britain's welfare crown and there's silence from the mainstream media as it's dismantled.

We see the Tories claim of commitment to the NHS by claiming it will always be free at the point of use. But underneath the whole structure is being unbolted in the name of corporate profit.

And to let an investment banker run the show is a kick in the teeth. Given their recent track record a whelk stall wouldn't be safe in their hands.

Anonymous said...

Good post. The ConDems will try to privatise as many public assets as possible, knowing full well that an ideologically weak and cowardly Labour Party, should they return to power, will not have the guts to reverse the process. This was confirmed by the Blairites in 1997. Blairism has inflicted immense damage on the whole Leftist project, not least of which is the way NuLab emboldened the Thatcherites by uprooting yet more social democratic principles and throwing them on the Thatcherite bonfire, creating an infrastructure that is ripe for the degree of privatisation that Nulab could not quite get away with without entirely alienating its supporters. NuLab cleared the way, and the Tories have now set the bonfire alight, dreaming of the day when they can cavort in the ashes of democratic socialism. A sickening thought. They now have the combined financial, state and media power to erase democratic socialism from history and, worse, to erase the thoughts and sentiments behind democratic socialism at the individual level. Somehow they must be stopped. If that means social unrest, then so be it.

- questionnaire

Anonymous said...

It is odd that people still trust the banksters with anything, isn't it? Chris H is right I wouldn't trust these guys to run a whelk stall. You would be better off getting some kid operating a lemonade stand to run the hospital. At the very least, he would probably be more honest.

Anonymous said...

I've recently experienced how betwixt and between my GP and A and E. Both telling me they can't help. Both suggesting I seek private advice. If my experience is not unique, which I suspect it isnt from hearing many other similar experiences then the NHS is pretty much finished. If you havent got private health cover yr in trouble already.

Nick said...

The liberal media have barely even reported this story - the BBC didn't even make it one of their main stories:

Neil Clark said...

Chris: "Given their recent track record a whelk stall wouldn't be safe in their hands."
Totally agreed.

Questionnaire- many thanks.
Agree totally that Blairism is the biggest villain here-there was a great opportunity in 1997 to move away from neoliberalism, yet, as you say NuLab only uprooted social democratic principles still further.

John- yes, I'd rather a kid operating a lemonade stand ran the hospital than a former Goldman Sachs banker.

Nick- good post.