37 Labour peers on the private health payroll
In 2006/07, NHS outpatient data indicated that there were 10 sites offering privatised treatment on the English NHS, reporting 15,000 first outpatient attendances; by 2010/11 this had grown to almost half a million outpatient attendances funded by the NHS across 161 private sector providers, accounting for 3.5% of all first outpatient attendances in the English NHS.
By 2012, a report was showing that the private sector was responsible for 17% of NHS hip replacements and NHS hernia operations in England. They were also involved in thousands of other procedures.
“F**king Tories,” you’d probably think. But if so, you need to think again. Labour’s support for the idea that “any willing provider”* should provide NHS services dates back to the publication in 2006 of ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’. And in the meantime, Labour fatcats have been jumping on the bandwagon bigtime. In the House of Lords, some 37 Labour peers are involved with private healthcare companies giving each scope to benefit financially from the growing privatisation of the NHS in England.
Former Labour cabinet members Alan Milburn and Patricia Hewitt are both former Health Secretaries. Hewitt was a former advisor to Cinven, and landed a lucrative £55,000 role with the firm after standing down as an MP. Yet she and she alone engineered the huge rise given to GPs as well as the freedom for them to eschew out of hours working.
When in office, Milburn received tens of thousands of pounds from several firms involved in private health care.
This isn’t to knock the Labour Party. The huge majority of its membership is genuinely appalled by privatisation and committed to free public health. So am I, but I would mutualise it on a community by community basis: that is, stop the racketeers from moving in, and stop the public sector unions/civil servants from screwing it up.
But this is to remind all genuinely, positive radicals in the UK that it’s no good blaming it all on the Conservatives. The problem here is a depraved culture of greed, not one Party. The main goal should always be to protect our social jewels from that culture, until such time as we can fix it. Sorry to be a broken record again, but that’s another dimension of my beef with both the tribalists of Left and Right: they see it all as politics. Bollocks: frontal-lobe syndrome Homo sapiens is the problem….an intelligent thug who, for the time being, lacks the necessary controls to make him or her a decent person.
*’any willing provider’ is not much of a filter, is it?