I write in response to the column from UKIP’s Mike Glennon, published on the Herald website. There are two problems with Mr Glennon’s piece.
First, the facts. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has repeatedly called for private involvement in the NHS and did so as recently as October, 2014. This is true also of Paul Nuttall, the UKIP deputy leader, who told a hustings in 2011 he believed ‘the NHS is a monolithic hangover from days gone by. I would like to see more free market introduced into the health service”. The problem was, they realised that the public was completely opposed to their desire to sell their NHS off to the highest bidder, so they completely about-turned. But make no mistake, the NHS is not safe with UKIP.
Second, Mr Glennon says he believes ‘that as private contracts expire, services should actually be brought back into the NHS proper’.
Mr Glennon clearly does not understand how privatisation works. In short, the money follows the patient out. There is no service left to return to.
The BUPA MSK deal is the perfect example. If they get the contract, there is no trust MSK team waiting at the end of the five years to pick up services and bid for a tender.
Staff get transferred over or leave, premises used for other services and administrative and medical staff and services disappear for good.
At the end of the contract, everything looks radically different and the trust will be unable to win a bid in five years’ time with their staff, premises and expertise gone.
Privatisation is permanent and that is why it is so dangerous. If you want to intervene its needs to be done before private contracts are given out, hence the importance of resisting this BUPA MSK deal now and not in five years’ time.
Mr Glennon’s party does not support a public NHS and Mr Glennon doesn’t seem to understand how privatisation actually works.
Dr Carl Walker
prospective candidate, East Worthing and Shoreham
National Health Action Party
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