Myth, reality, threat?
When people say the NHS is being privatised, what do they mean? Privatisation in Britain usually means the flotation model. A government organisation is sold off as shares, transferring both ownership and control to the private sector. Such an approach was never going to work for the NHS. The very idea that a hospital might be auctioned or that British citizens would be charged at the point of need is so far outside acceptable politics that you’ll only ever hear it from Nigel Farage.
Instead, what we’ve seen is the subtle but relentless opening up of the NHS to profit-seeking organisations. Virgin now run 230 NHS services in England. Whilst winning contracts of around £1bn, the company uses tax havens to avoid paying corporation tax. Outsourcing in general has also shot up, from £1.2bn in 2012/13 to £9.6bn in 2014/15. The pace only increases. Last month , £7.9bn...
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