Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, March 2, 2012

The NHS is already in private hands – it has been for years

Who said this?

“If you take the National Health Service for example, 90 per cent of all patient journeys begin and end in our primary care system, with our family GPs. They are all privately run businesses. They are small businesses and those GPs – quite rightly so – make a profit from their work with the National Health Service.”

Was it some free marketeer preaching the virtues of the private sector? A Right-of centre think tank trying to debunk the Left’s demonising of the profit motive inside the NHS? Nope. It was John Hutton – now Lord Hutton – speaking in 2005 when he was a Health Minister in Tony Blair’s Labour Government. He said almost exactly the same thing in an interview on the BBC’s World This Weekend on Sunday.

In the intervening seven years, this rather brilliant insight into the reality of our “state” health service has gained no traction whatsoever. The fact that primary care – the part of the NHS that most people have most contact with most of the time – is in private-sector hands simply does not register with people. The Health and Social Care Bill curently limping through Parliament is attacked by its critics for opening the way to “privatisation on an industrial scale” when the bulk of the NHS is already firmly in private hands.

Why hasn’t Andrew Lansley ever said this? And shouldn't he start saying it now? Read More