Labour to keep Tory privatisation

The Labour Party has said it will not reverse the “privatisation” introduced by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, saying he would only cap the profits that can be made.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband says he accepts private sector involvement in the NHS is necessary, but that he will cap the profits that can be made by private firms to 5%, but only for contracts over £500,000 ($745,000), with there being no cap on smaller private sector contracts.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt believes Ed Miliband is clutching at straws. “This is no more than a gimmick to scare people,” he said defending Coalition health reforms. “It risks higher infection rates, higher waiting times and chaos for our NHS.

Dr Donna Gardiner is from Mersey Care NHS Trust. “I think the NHS is one of the things the UK can be most proud of,” she said. “I will not vote for any politician unless I trust them to protect it.

Dzon is the Pluralist Party candidate for Liverpool Walton and says the issue needs to be considered objectively. “For me privatisation of the NHS does not work,” he said. “Equally, however, I believe no involvement of the private sector in the NHS would mean less money for front-line services due to escalating overheads.
Having an NHS that is free at the point of need and delivers best value in terms of health outcomes and public spending should be what is important.

Steve Rotheram with Ed Miliband.
PRIVATE PARTY: Ed Miliband has refused to commit to not using private sector contractors in the NHS, saying their profits should be capped instead. Courtesy: Steve Rotheram.

It is unclear whether Labour’s Walton MP Steve Rotheram supports Ed Miliband in not reversing private sector involvement in the NHS, but he recently welcomed the opening of a privately run school near the Everton football ground in the Liverpool Walton constituency. Steve Rotheram is the former councillor for Fazakerley, whose Labour Party, while in government, all but privatised Fazakerely Hospital, which now runs totally independently of the state.

Dr Donna Gardiner is critical of those who support private sector involvement in the NHS. Dr Gardiner shares the view of many in Liverpool who do not think cost-cutting private sector contracts are an appropriate option. “I want an MP who will oppose future NHS contracts going to private companies,” she said. “I want an MP who will fight to make sure the NHS is properly funded so we can all rely on getting quality care whenever we need it.”

Dzon says that making decisions about patients lives on the basis of ideology and not the facts is dangerous, whether it is capping private sector contracts or reversing them all together. “I care more about helping patients than I do about ideology,” he explained. “The private sector as a partner to the NHS can reduce its overheads , meaning there will be more money to spend on the things the NHS should be doing – providing healthcare funded by taxation free at the point of need.