Health campaigning group Doctors for the NHS (DFNHS) welcome the Prime Minister’s assurances in his victory speech about the NHS and its true value. But what may well be an expression of resounding support for an inviolate treasure could also be an open declaration of selling price.
DFNHS Chair Colin Hutchinson:
“How can we be certain that the promise of new public money will not fuel the increasing and systematic involvement of private companies in so many aspects of the commercial market in healthcare and the administration of the NHS and its assets? Massively increased funding is desperately needed for dilapidated and poorly designed buildings and replacement of equipment that has become obsolete or prone to breakdown, but the top priority has to be investment in a skilled and caring workforce.
“How can we be certain that any increase in funding will reach the frontline and not be siphoned off by intermediaries which are already so deeply embedded in the running of the NHS?
“How can we be certain that this great promise of investment is not a means to fatten up the NHS and make it even more attractive to private commercial interests?
“This is a matter of trust, which the Government, in our view, is yet to earn.
“Can the Prime Minister assure us that what is heralded as a Christmas NHS gift is not, in fact, going to become a grand New Year sale of our most cherished national institution?”