This is a quote from Jeremy Corbyn at today’s launch of Labour’s election manifesto. A completely nationalised NHS, with no scope for private sector involvement.
I realise that this is an emotive issue for many, but when the NHS was set up by the Attlee Government it was established with a mix of public and private provision. Hospitals were nationalised, but GPs, pharmacists, dentists and opticians weren’t. There has always been private sector involvement in the NHS right since the beginning. The majority of NHS patient care now and then is provided by non-NHS employees.
The current Labour Party vision of a completely nationalised service runs completely against the NHS that Labour created in the 1940s.
GP independent contractors provide NHS services in the poorest and most deprived parts of the UK. Without them lots of people would struggle to access NHS services. What’s worse GP Independent contractors are disproportionately from ethnic minorities, which makes the policy not just bad, but discriminatory.
This is a bad policy, and completely alien to the traditional values of the NHS. It will cause massive and irreversible damage to services. If it was forced through against the wishes of clinicians it will devastate primary care in the way that the 1990 Dental contract trashed NHS dentistry and led to widespread use of private dental insurance.
I won’t be supporting it.