*49 London GP Practices taken over*
Despite Boris Johnson's’s denial that the NHS was up for sale to US healthcare companies during the last General Election, the continued egress into the NHS by private US healthcare companies via hospital contracts and GP practice contracts, continues unabated.
As per usual word games are the order of the day with this corrupt Tory Government.
Denials that the NHS in terms of it as a whole singular unit, is up for sale, are true of course.
However, the words were chosen very carefully in order to hide the dishonesty within the Government’s aims of fragmentation of the NHS, the re-organising of it into 42 autonomous US private healthcare company run Integrated Care Systems, and the intention to maximise US healthcare companies being granted contracts to provide NHS clinical services and GP practices.
With media coercion via non-reporting of what is going on to fragment and privatise the whole of the NHS, and the total lack of engagement by opposition parties in parliament in what the Tories are doing; the British people have been fooled into believing the NHS is safe!
Now over 1% of GP practices in the UK are being run by giant US healthcare corporation, Centene via its wholly owned subsidiary, Operose Health which provides some 25 million Americans with health insurance; is expanding its portfolio of NHS GP practices to 58 through a 'partnership' with major primary care provider AT Medics.
Reporting by the GPOnline website has last month focused on this form of privatisation by stealth that the Tories have been pushing for the last 10 years, hitting it’s zenith since 2012 and Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Act that year which opened up the NHS to private companies en masse!
Writing on 18th February, its reporter Nick Bostock had this:
'The deal will make Operose almost certainly the largest provider of NHS GP services in England - with nearly 1% of the total 6,658 practices in the country under its control, covering a total patient population in excess of 500,000.
The major expansion of Centene's foothold in NHS primary care has sparked concern among GPs, with the Doctors in Unite union warning the health service was being 'parcelled up and sold off under the radar'. The union has called for the cancellation of APMS contracts held by AT Medics.'
His report continued:
Operose already ran 21 NHS GP practices, spread from south-east England to the Midlands and north of England - and will nearly triple this figure through the deal with AT Medics. Its existing practices covered around 120,000 patients.
AT Medics has 37 practices registered with the CQC across 49 sites in London and south-east England serving 390,000 patients - taking the combined population to more than 500,000.
The company will hold more practice contracts and serve more patients than either the Modality or Our Health Partnership 'superpractices', each of which serve around 400,000 patients. It will cover more than five times as many patients as the current population of Babylon's GP at Hand - which operates the largest single patient list.
However, Doctors in Unite chair Dr Jackie Applebee told GPOnline she had received news of the takeover 'with the deepest disappointment and gravest foreboding'.
The GPOnline website report continues:
She said private sector involvement in NHS services had led to 'fragmentation of care, to the detriment of patients'. Dr Applebee said: 'We have been warning for years that US healthcare firms are circling to swoop on the NHS. Our fears are dismissed by politicians and senior NHS managers.
'The public are constantly told that the NHS is not being privatised. The advent of Centene onto the general practice landscape reveals yet again, that this is a lie. In reality the NHS is being parcelled up and sold off under the radar.'
But the appointment of ex-Labour Government healthcare secretary, Alan Milburn to Centene, perhaps gives away the reason for the total lack of true opposition to the Government’s privatisation of the NHS and GP practices; from the Labour Party leadership in Parliament.'
The reality is that Labour under Tony Blair enabled the transformation and death of the NHS by a thousand cuts with Alan Milburn in charge of Healthcare when they introduced the Thatcher acolytes Oliver Letwin and John Redwood’s call for the introduction of ‘NHS foundation trusts’ giving them reconcilability for their own budgets - a precursor necessary for the eventual whole scale privatision of healthcare in England.
Furthermore when you consider the number of Labour MPs with private healthcare company involvement, some 49 in Parliament and the Lords on the last count (2012); the lacklustre opposition is understood.
It is clear by the total lack of true campaigning and opposition to the death of the NHS, by Keir Starmer and Jonathon Ashworth; that their wish is to return to those days of a ‘stealth policy’ of privatisation of the NHS.
Contrary to the Labour Party stance of no privatisation of the NHS.
Again, as with the Tories, careful selection of wording hid too their true intentions. Hence the Blair penned phrase…. “An NHS free at the point of delivery” which hides the principle that it doesn’t matter to the public who provides the service, private or publicly owned.
In the meantime a huge profit can be made by those MPs involved in the private healthcare sector!
Source: GP Online / unionsafety
Despite Protestation Labour MPs Profit From NHS Privatisation