January 19, 2022
From Socialist Party (UK)
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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1163/33612

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2022

Nationalise private health and big pharma

For a fully publicly funded NHS

For a 15% pay rise in NHS and care

Photo: Paul Mattsson

Photo: Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Jane Ward, Southampton Socialist Party

Private hospitals are set to receive up to £525 million of public money in a deal negotiated by Sajid Javid, the Tory Health and Social Care Secretary. It means that over the next three months they will treat a wider range of NHS patients, including those needing cancer surgery.

The deal has been sanctioned despite warnings from Amanda Pritchard, the Chief Executive of NHS England. She has warned that it would leave the NHS exposed financially, the beds would be significantly more expensive than those in the NHS and there is a great degree of uncertainty as to how they would be staffed.

Scandalously, the private companies will be given up to £270 million from the NHS as a minimum income guarantee, which means they will receive it regardless of whether they treat any patients. Pritchard expressed her concern to Javid that she might in fact be in breach of her legal duty to follow the Treasury rules on managing public money. Javid then gave her a direct order to give private hospitals the money anyway.

The Labour Party has now abandoned its previous promise, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, to protect the health service from privatisation. Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary, has said that Labour would use private healthcare providers to tackle NHS waiting lists too. Streeting does blame the Tories for running down the NHS, but has not as yet come up with any solutions whatsoever to provide sufficient funding.

Successive governments, Tory and Labour, have presided over a massive underfunding and privatisation of the NHS. It is short of around 100,000 staff. The number of beds has been cut by a third since 1988. The health service has one of the lowest number of beds per person in Europe, with 246 per 100,000 people, while Germany has 800 per 100,000 people.

We need socialist policies to defend the NHS. Health workers have voted decisively in their unions to reject the government’s pitiful 3% pay offer. There has to be an immediate pay rise of 15% for all those who work for the NHS and in social care.

We need a fully publicly funded NHS free at the point of use. Privatisations of NHS services must be reversed. Private health care and pharmaceutical companies must be nationalised, with compensation paid only to small shareholders on the basis of proven need, to be integrated into the public health service. The NHS should be run by democratically elected and accountable committees including service workers and users.

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party’s material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers’ movements with a socialist programme – one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.


We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.


In The Socialist 19 January 2022:


What we think

Tories on the ropes


News

Want to fight austerity?

No trust in Tories to keep us safe

Tories hand cash to private health profiteers

Tory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

Employers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

News in brief


International news

Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

Northern Ireland: Workers fight threatened closure of women’s hostel

US: Independent Socialist Group launches new paper

Eyewitness account of workers’ uprising in Almaty, Kazakhstan


Public services

Mutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers’ party


Marxist classics

Why are things the way they are?


Rob Windsor

Rob Windsor – remembering a tireless fighter for socialism


Theatre

Theatre: Yes Yes UCS


Workplace news

Sheffield Just Eat striking couriers speak about the longest gig economy strike

South Yorkshire Stagecoach strike results in “huge pay win”

Scunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action over pay

Coventry bin strike continues in face of Labour council’s stunts and lies

Bus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

Royal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

Newham college strike solid against bully privatisers

Somers Forge workers continue pay strike

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns

NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Demonstrating against the Tory anti-protest bill

Waltham Forest: Campaign unites families facing eviction

Newham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

Birmingham: Cuts consultations replaced by computer game

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

Oliver Campbell – 31 years fighting for justice

Bournemouth – angry people not represented by capitalist parties

Pauline Wall memorial meeting


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Source: Socialistparty.org.uk