2023-12-13 17:43

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Shadow Health Minister Streeting Attacks NHS Funding Needs

Takes £193,725 From Private Health companies - Proves Labour is No Friend of the NHS!

Attacking NHS funding, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said that funding is not the issue holding back the NHS and the health service needs to give value for money!

Ignoring the reality of billions of under funding, and the smallest expenditure on healthcare the UK provides compared to most European countries, he attacked nurses, surgeons and Doctors efficiency and life saving healthcare; he said clinicians need to understand that money is tight. A simple repeated message you might expect from the Conservative Government.

Image: click to go to The Guardian articleWess streeting, who took funding from private equity companies, recruitment agencies and the likes of United Health involved in the privatisation if the NHS; told the Sunday Times:

“I don’t think it’s good enough that the NHS uses every winter crisis and every challenge it faces as an excuse to ask for more money.”

He continued:

“The NHS is going to have to get used to the fact that money is tight and it’s going to have to get used to switching spend, and rethinking where and how care is delivered to deliver better outcomes for patients and better value for taxpayers’ money. At the moment, I think we get the worst of all worlds, which is poor outcomes alongside poor value for taxpayers.

I’m willing to give people more freedom to innovate and create as long as they deliver. That’s the tough love that people can look forward to if I become the health and social care secretary.”

In effect, more involvement of the private sector, and denial of treatment as in the US system.

One of Streeting's measures would be to get existing staff, many of whom are overstretched and exhausted, to do overtime to help bring waiting lists down. A plan which most in the NHS believe is doomed to failure.

Promising increased diagnostic services is a big boost to the majority of private companies running services such as X-Rays, CT Scanning and MR scanning and diagnosis. Serious errors in breast cancer screening has occurred since the private sector was handed billions of pounds to take over these services from the NHS.

Similarly, the national Bowel Cancer Screening programme run by a private company has been criticised for inaccurate diagnosis.

Once again, Streeting repeats Tory policy as he said he would be 'opening the door' to private healthcare companies and entrepreneurs involvement in developing 'life science' companies to provide technology for self-diagnosis, in order to avoid GP appointments.

This, despite the fact that many of these 'healthcare Apps' do not work and even warn users to see their GP if they are at RISK. e.g. the ECG App for mobile phones which claims to provide an ECG by simply placing two fingers on the mobile phone screen.

Whilst promising more GP appointments, he has made it clear that video appointments and telephony appointments will increase, despite the fact that many patients do not have access to technology, or feel a photo or video of a physical condition can be adequately diagnosed without it being done in person.

In response, the BMA said his proposals are 'unrealistic' for many reasons. Whilst Streeting is repeating many of the 'promises' made to improve the NHS that he made September 2022, the response from the BMA has not changed: Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said doctors "want to do the very best for their patients and we share their frustrations when they find it difficult to get appointments when they need them".

"What we really need to address are the huge workload and workforce pressures that are the real reason why patients are facing such long waits to see a GP," he said.

Dr Farah Jameel, the British Medical Association's England GP committee chair, said doctors are "desperate" to provide patients with the care they need. But he said: "We simply don't have enough doctors."

NHS Doctors charity based campaign group, EveryDoctor, campaigning against the continued privatisation of the NHS by both Tory and Labour governments, expressed alarm at Wes Streeting's attack in the NHS need for appropriate funding:

Some people are voicing surprise over Wes Streeting’s comments. He criticised the NHS, accusing it of “waste and inefficiency”. He says “money is tight”, and he says he is “willing to give people more freedom to innovate and create as long as they deliver”.

All of this should ring alarm bells.

Last winter, because of political choices, the NHS was not equipped to cope with the demand on services. Staff struggled to cope under extraordinary pressure. Up to 500 patients died every single week because they could not access the urgent healthcare they needed.

Image: Independent article - click to read it (paywall)The situation was terrifying.

No senior politician should be saying that "money is tight"; it is a question of choice.

What value do we put on the health of this nation?
What value do we put on the lives of every person in this country?

If we value those things, and I think we do, as a country, then we must hold politicians to account to make the right political choices; prioritising peoples’ health and their lives.

This means funding the service properly, paying NHS staff properly, and eliminating NHS privatisation.

Keir Starmer may not be our Prime Minister yet, and Wes Streeting may not be our health secretary (and it goes without saying that we should hold the Conservative party to account too).

The Labour party is likely to be the next government in power though, and we must start our work now. We will only fight for all of this effectively if we hold every politician to account about the NHS.
Finally, crucially, we can only fight for all of this if we do so together. NHS staff and patients are not on opposite sides. We need to build the movement of NHS patients and staff to fight for the future of the NHS. We can do it, if we do it together.

You can join EveryDoctor campaign against NHS privatisation here:

In summary, EveryDoctor makes the following points:

We will only fix the NHS if funding improves, staff are supported, and privatisation is eliminated.

Be wary of politicians who say they are “pro-NHS” but do not talk about NHS privatisation.

If NHS funding is reduced, it makes the service even more susceptible to further privatisation.
So… let’s talk about what Keir Starmer and his Labour Party are up to.

• When Keir Starmer was running for the leadership of the party, he said he would remove all private sector outsourcing from the NHS. Many people within our network voted for Starmer specifically because of this plan. He then dropped this pledge

• He and his shadow health secretary Wes Streeting have spoken positively about private sector involvement in the NHS on many occasions since (here’s one example, from The Guardian)

• EveryDoctor has been building a map of NHS privatisation for some time. One of the things we have looked into is politicians’ links to the private healthcare sector, and we were alarmed to find that many Labour politicians had received donations from individuals and organisations linked to the private healthcare industry (here’s a link to take a look at this info: https://everydoctor.org.uk/campaigns/privatisation-and-mps-interests/)

This is incredibly concerning.

In the final analysis, voters now fear that with Labour, little will change in the NHS in terms of the direction of travel - even further privatisation and the continuance of under-funding, and further development towards two-tier healthcare services, and the promotion of private profit over public health service, and the abolition of the principles of the NHS.

Source: The Guardian / The I / BBC News / Every Doctor / Twitter (Carol Vorderman) / The Times

See also:

Every Doctor Website Shows Interactive Map Of Privatised Local NHS Services

Private Healthcare Companies Who Pay The Piper, Play The NHS Privatisation Tune?


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