Guest post: The NHS and the Private Sector

Posted on Sun 15th May 2011, 12:33pm
This is a guest post by NHS Direct Action, a protest group organising creative direct actions against the privatisation of the NHS.

Cor·rup·tion/kəˈrəpSHən/Noun Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

The NHS is being sold and it’s going cheap.

The Health and Social Care Bill is set to open up the NHS to the private sector. Little is said about the profit to be made, and the bill is being pushed through under health secretary Andrew Lansley’s guise of ‘modernisation and the power of competition’.

Private healthcare companies, led by H5 (a pressure group of the five biggest private healthcare providers in the UK) have funded Lansley through his time in opposition and are adamant their investment will pay off. Chairman of Care UK, John Nash, gave £21,000 in 2009 to fund Andrew Lansley’s personal office. His wife offered a further £60,000 to the Conservative Party.

We say our health service can’t be bought.

As well as guaranteeing influence with cash incentives, the revolving door of Whitehall has seen the movement of private health executives between roles in government, the NHS and think-tanks. At a conference for ‘business opportunities post global healthcare reform’ held by private equity firm Apax partners, Mark Britnell- senior health expert to David Cameron, global head of health at KPMG and ex-NHS director general for commissioning and system management- stated that “the NHS will be shown no mercy, and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years”.

We want the open opposition of the Royal College of Nurses and Royal College of GP’s, with their years of experience and acting in the best interests of their patients not their pockets, to be heard.

In recent months students groups and movements like UK Uncut have grabbed the headlines and our imaginations with a wave of occupations, demonstrations and creative protest. This discontent has spread to the health sector. We recently saw the largest gathering of health workers in over a decade march to save their hospitals. Groups such as NHS Direct Action have used creative and direct action to stage auctions, die-ins and impromptu occupations to highlight the involvement of the private sector and think tanks in writing this failing government paper. Only last week, Atos Healthcare in Cambridge was occupied in protest against the company’s role in reassessing incapacity benefit.

Give a minute, an hour, a day. Read the dossier. Douse yourself in fake blood (1 part water to 3 parts corn-flour and food colouring). Call for a vote of no confidence in Lansley. Question his true motives and the motives of those who pursue profit at the expense of health for all.

If you are opposed to privatisation and cuts in the NHS, then you are NHS direct action. If you care about the future of healthcare in the UK, then join us. Even if you have never protested or marched before, now is the time to act.

Let’s remind the government who the NHS belongs to.

Donate Some Dosh

Posted on Thu 12th May 2011, 5:14pm
For the last 8 months UK Uncut has refrained from asking for donations. We'd far rather you give your time, energy and passion than your money. We're proud of this decision - determined UK Uncutters across the country have, with zero funding, built a formidable campaign that has won major victories.

But after eight months of being skint, we'd love to be able to be a little more ambitious. If you can, please donate some dosh. (Donate button in the bottom right of the screen.)

We don't need loads, and we're not about to replace exciting, inspiring days of action with tedious fund-raising drives. But if you have a little spare cash we'd really appreciate whatever you can give. Rest assured, every single penny will go to fighting the cuts.

And please remember... the best way to give to the cause will always be to get yourself out on the streets. See you there!

UPDATE: We have been overwhelmed by the response. In less than 24 hours we collected as much money as we currently need. We do not want to accept any more than we require, so we have taken down the donate button. Thanks to everyone who donated!

UK Uncut: Emergency Operation, May 28th

Posted on Tue 10th May 2011, 7:03pm

“The NHS will last as long as there are folk left to fight for it.”
- Nye Bevan, founder of the NHS

Andrew Lansley. Greedy Andrew Lansley. Tosser.
- MC NxtGen

This is an emergency. The welfare state is in peril. Under the guise of ‘efficiency’ and ‘reform’, this government is plotting to cut the NHS and sell off what’s left. Andrew Lansley has claimed the government is in a ‘listening exercise’ about the proposed NHS ‘reforms’. But despite widespread outcry from doctors, nurses and the public the government isn’t listening to anyone apart from private healthcare lobbyists.

Let’s make Lansley listen. We want to keep our healthy NHS and fix our broken banking system. Whilst the NHS is being dismantled, the banks that caused this crisis in the first place have been left untouched. Reckless gambling, obscene bonuses and a global financial crisis are symptoms of a disease that requires a drastic intervention.

The banks are due a check-up. On Saturday May 28th, join UK Uncut’s Emergency Operation and transform your local high street bank into a hospital. Tell the government to leave our NHS alone; it’s the banks that are sick.

Turn HSBC into a hospital, fill Natwest with nurses, get bandaged in Barclays and operate in RBS. As usual, it’s up to you to organise an action in your area – so talk to your friends, your local union branch and anti-cuts group and then list an action on our website. All the resources you’ll need will be on our website, including a flyer to tell the public about the NHS emergency. Get organised, get creative and let’s make Lansley listen: leave our NHS alone and cut benefits to bankers.

See you on the high streets.

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