No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.
Minister for Health (1945 - 51) and the chief architect of the National Health Service
WHAT'S WRONG WITH PRIVATISATION?
The control of the NHS by private companies goes against all the egalitarian and compassionate principles that the NHS was founded on - that medicine should be available to all, regardless of wealth.
IF THE NHS REMAINS "FREE AT THE POINT OF USE" WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES PRIVATISATION MAKE TO THE PATIENT?
Have you had to wait longer for an appointment over the last few years? Have you been denied the most effective treatment and been given the second best? This is because private companies cost saving measures, who put profit before people’s care. Consider the scandals in A&E and ambulance services and rapidly increasing waiting times. What would these services be like if the NHS was renationalised?
HAS PRIVATISATION AND CUTS TO HEALTHCARE CAUSED UNNECESSARY DEATHS?
Studies from 2015 published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, reported 30,000 excess deaths linked to excessive cuts in Health and Social Care. Another report from the University of College London found 120,000 unnecessary deaths per year.
In 2018, for the first time in British history, life expectancy is going down.
HOW IS SYSTEMATIC UNDERFUNDING AFFECTING THE NHS?
The NHS is under-resourced compared to health provision in other developed nations. A Kings Study of data of 21 nations, revealed that the NHS has among the lowest number of doctors, nurses and hospital beds per capita in the Western world.
HOW DOES FRAGMENTATION AFFECT SERVICES?
The 2012 Health and Social Care Act has led to an increasingly fragmented service with multiple companies contracted to deliver formerly integrated services. The greatest achievements in our healthcare have come from building strong, collaborative relationships. The enforced competition between differing service providers and departments is harmful to patient care.
WHAT IS THE NHS POSTCODE LOTTERY?
The quality and availability of NHS care is dependent on where you live in the country. Services which have been affected by the postcode lottery have included access to certain cancer drugs, fertility treatments, hip and knee replacements, as well as variations in waiting times.
WHAT IMPACT WILL BREXIT HAVE ON THE NHS?
The health and social care sector are already highly vulnerable to skills shortages and staffing problems as immigration becomes more restricted. Brexit means less money for public services, because of lower economic growth, with the collapse of the pound’s value, purchasing of drugs and medical equipment has rocketed. But most worryingly will be President Trump’s demands on the NHS in a trade deal, which will likely include the demand that Big Pharma be allowed to market directly to citizens and push up the prices of drugs.
We see the balance of power in the UK is with private healthcare companies, and the direction of change is towards a US-style insurance system.
Theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge.
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