Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Brown's NHS privatisation program will hurt Labour, campaigners wa rn

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s NHS privatisation program will hurt Labour, campaigners warn

Government plans to privatise whole hospitals will alienate even more Labour voters, the Keep Our NHS Public campaign predicted today.

The announcement that profit-making companies like Virgin and Bupa will be paid from the public purse to take over entire hospitals takes the NHS privatisation program begun by Blair to the next level.

Where hospitals are threatened with privatisation, as at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, mass campaigns are already being mobilised which will fight the measures and hurt the government in the run-up to the next election.

Professor Wendy Savage, Chair of Keep Our NHS Public, said:

“These measures will offend NHS managers, upon whose cooperation the government relies; they will be opposed by doctors, who keep the NHS going; they will be loathed by health workers, whose unions fund the Labour Party; and they will be fought by patients and the public, including by the core Labour voters who have been deserting the party in droves. It is a suicide policy.

“Gordon Brown came in promising change. A year later, it is clear that he hasn’t been able to find an agenda of his own, so he’s reverted to the most extreme Blairite plan to privatise the NHS.

“There is no evidence from anywhere in the world that profit-making companies make health services more efficient. There is plenty of evidence that they do the opposite, including the experience from England over the last five years. Making profits from health means cutting services and reducing quality. It is the patients who pay the price.”

For further information please contact Alex Nunns on 07763 607 528, Wendy Savage on 0207 837 7635, or email

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