I have just been invited to sign the NHS Support Federation's letter to the Prime Minister seeking to stop the commercialisation of our NHS. I am delighted to accept. To download the letter scroll down the front page of their website: www.nhscampaign.org
Interestingly a survey in May of healthcare workers in the East of England conducted by the Green Party, has found that Green Party health policies are in line with many of the views expressed - particularly on many key points of principle, such as the price of healthcare provision and privatisation.
The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems all support further privatisation in the NHS. This is far out of line with the opinions of the real people surveyed who are working in healthcare.
The Green Party found that 70% of respondents agreed (‘agreed’ or ‘strongly agreed’) with the statement ‘further privatisation in the NHS should be avoided’. And 73% of respondents believed the use of private cleaning companies for NHS contracts may increase the risks of infections like MRSA on hospital wards and should be avoided. The Royal College of Nursing and the Green Party both agree, while the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems oppose any re-nationalisation of cleaning services in the NHS.
Here is a quote from Cllr. Rupert Read, and candidate for Westminister in Norwich's bye-election next week: “Greens have always recognised that the privatisation of the NHS is incompatible with democratic accountability and with well-run hospitals. The failure of New Labour’s Public Private Partnerships, which so often delivers poorer service and can run over budget, is a clear example of these problems....Healthcare is a basic human right. If patients are forced to pay for their healthcare, unless through progressive taxation, poorer and less healthy patients lose out at the expense of those lucky enough to be wealthier and healthier. And though the price may start small, there is a slippery slope issue here. Many basic services are now charged for unless there are exemptions - such as prescriptions, most dental check-ups and dental work, eye tests and glasses and so on. We should not go down the road towards a health system like the mess in the US, where many people just don’t have health insurance.”
Respondents to the Green party survey were unanimous in agreeing that complementary medicine should be provided on the NHS if there was evidence that it worked. The Greens Party agrees that complementary medicine should be provided when appropriate.