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Secrets and Lies - How a few men have sold out our NHS

Location: UK » London » N

At a recent public meeting at SOAS where Jacky Davis, the founder of Keep Our NHS Public spoke about the Conservative party’s vision for a fully privatised NHS, a student asked a question about the relationship between private health care companies and Andrew Lansley’s election campaign.

So I did some digging and found out that not only have private health companies given funds to the Conservative party, one of the big players, John Nash, has also been advising George Osbourne on budget cuts.

When John Nash was chairman of Care UK his wife Caroline Nash gave a personal donation of £21,000 to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s personal office to help Lansley fight the general election. He and his wife have given £203,500 to the Conservative party over the past five years (Mirror & The Guardian).

Sovereign Capital - Founded by John Nash and Ryan Robson, the company runs a string of private healthcare firms. Co-founder Ryan Robson gave the Conservative party £252,429.45 (Mirror).

Independent Challenge Group - George Osbourne recruited four City figures to join a ‘red team’ to advise him on cuts. Osbourne asked bankers and financiers to act as the main advisers from outside the government on his independent challenge group. John Nash is one of the four advising Osbourne on cuts (Financial Times).

The other three are Adrian Beecroft, one of the founders of Apax Partners, the private equity group; Douglas Flint, finance director of HSBC; Richard Sharp, the former head of the Goldman Sachs European private equity arm make up the four (Financial Times). 

The NHS white paper. Stuart Wheeler, who has donated around £3.5 million to the Conservative party, said it was inconceivable to think that large party donees did not have influence over ministers and policy making. Since the Conservatives came into power, Care UK has been awarded a £53m NHS prison health contract, taking over responsibility from current NHS providers (Financial Times).

The white paper opens the door to any willing provider. So far the company which is benefiting the most from the bill, even though the bill is only at it’s commissioning stage is Care UK. John Nash, the former chairman, now consultant, and his wife gave generous donations to Lansley’s office before the election. After becoming a consultant for Care UK Nash was asked to be part of an expert group who advised Osbourne on budget cuts.

Care UK is one of the private companies set to be the biggest beneficiaries when the door to the NHS is open to any willing provider.

The final aim of the white paper is the full privatisation of the NHS. It would seem that money talks beyond and above people’s health care.

In 2009 the NHS was hailed by US thinktank The Commonwealth Fund as one of the best healthcare services in the world - and far better than America’s private system. The outcome was the same in 2010, when The Commonwealth Fund showed that while a third of American adults went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs, this figure was only 6% in the UK (The Guardian, 2010).

The NHS white paper had it’s second reading in the middle of February. The bill is being pushed through quickly. MPs are having library read-ins because they cannot read the document themselves. These same MPs will vote on severe cuts to the NHS. The vote could take place at the end of March or the beginning of April. According to Linda Perks, the NHS could be disbanded in the summer. Let’s make sure this doesn’t happen.

Let’s unite and defend the NHS. The men now in power are public servants to us and it is time they were reminded of this. We did not vote for these cuts. Nor did we vote for men such as John Nash to be advisors to our public servants. We have been lied to about the NHS. David Cameron said he would protect the NHS. Instead he and his pals are selling it off to eachother.

Care UK gets a £53 million prison health contract whilst A&Es;, maternity wards, and clinics fight closure and two mental health hospitals in Camden close. John Nash fills his purse whilst mid-wives and district nurses are made redundant. NHS staff have been warned not to speak publicly about cuts to services and jobs.

These are undemocratic cuts made by a government who has no mandate. Let’s defend the NHS so when Cameron, Osbourne, Clegg and pals leave office we still have one of the best healthcare services in the world.

To read more about the bill go to Keep Our NHS Public http://www.keepournhspublic.com/index.php

Day X for the NHS is on March 9th. Assemble 5pm, London Hospital. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=176583299053096&ref=ts

Students check facebook Save Our NHS organising meeting for updates on Day X for the NHS http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=106013406144656&ref=ts

What to do. Tell your GP you want them to oppose the bill. Lobby your MP. Join campaigns. Organise. 

In the video link Jacky Davis, founder of Keep Our NHS Public, reveals the truth behind the Tory vision for our NHS.

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