The National Health Action Party is fighting to save the NHS from being turned into a US-style health service. Think it's not happening? Think again! There's been a slow change over 30 years. Mrs Thatcher referred to it as 'salami slicing' - change so gradual that we just don't notice. But now it's reaching the end at great speed.
The NHS was redesigned under Tony Blair's New Labour Government as a complete market system, with hospitals rebuilt or remodelled under private ownership and leased back at extortionate rates via private finance (PFI) deals.
The Coalition's Health & Social Care Act (2012) put the NHS at 'arm's length' from government, brought in compulsory competition and drastically reduced its funding. Funding has been at historic lows ever since.
The Conservatives are pushing this project on at destructive speed under the name of a manifesto commitment to a '7 day NHS'. Their fight with the junior doctors and cuts in nurse bursaries are part of this change.
Hospital, community and GP services now have to bid to keep their contracts. The private sector is steadily winning an ever larger proportion, which is causing chaos as long term service planning becomes very difficult in these conditions.
Our hospitals are being sold off to raise the money to pay for these changes, may £millions of which go to management consultancies. This is also opening a large gap for the expansion of the insurance and self-pay private sector, who are busily building new private hospitals. There's 'self-pay' in the NHS too, as hospitals struggle for funds.
The NHS is being redesigned on the lines of US 'medicare' by its current CEO, ex president of global operations at United Health of America, Simon Stevens - who lobbied the US government to work on opening up global public health systems to US market competition using the EU/US trade agreement TTIP.
The NHS needs evidence and stability, not chaos. And the evidence says that public ownership and provision makes health services very cost effective compared internationally with private or semi-private systems. The NHS' universal health care paid by public funding, by everyone, for everyone, saves lives regardless of income.
Simon Stevens' plan, the 5 Year Forward View and the Sustainability and Transformation Plans, is pushing the NHS into the US model. We will have fewer hospitals and reduced access to qualified staff. The NHS will become the provider of the last resort. 'Free at the point of need' will become a hollow slogan, as only those who can't afford to pay will use its limited treatments.
Join us to fight for the NHS we want - now, not in 2020. The changes are well under way, but together we can stop them. We want an NHS fit for the future, to care for everyone rich or poor, without checking your wallet first.
We believe a political party is needed to defend the NHS and its values. The NHS is more than just a structure for the delivery of healthcare. It is also a social institution that reflects national solidarity, expresses the values of equity and universalism, and institutionalises the duty of government to care for all in society. The NHS marks out a space in society where the dictates of commerce and the market should be held in check. We are fighting now to ensure that it is patients not profits that are the driving force behind our NHS. We hope you will join us.
- We believe the NHS should be a safe, comprehensive, publicly funded, publicly delivered, and publicly accountable integrated healthcare system, committed to continuous improvement for all of its patients and participants. This has been shown to be, not just the fairest way to deliver healthcare, but also the most cost-efficient.
- We believe that misguided, and in some cases corrupt, attempts to create a market within the NHS, and to siphon off public resources for private profit, has hugely increased costs and bureaucracy within the NHS.
- We believe that the NHS is a public commitment to a fair society, not a personal insurance policy to be haggled over or “topped up” by out-of-pocket excess charges.
Our Wider Vision
A Fair Society:
We are committed to reject the soaring inequality created by 30 years of privatisation and corporation-led economic policies; to cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations and the wealthiest in our society; and to putting the British government back at the service of the British people on issues such as housing, employment and an efficient and compassionate welfare state.
A Democratic Society:
To defend and extend representation of the people at Local, National and European level to ensure that decisions are made in their interests, not in the interests of party politics, private profit or foreign investors.