By Daniel Margrain
Dr Bob Gill who has worked for the NHS for 23 years and is currently seeking crowdfunding for his documentary film, The Great NHS Heist, recently released a short video presentation where he discusses how the move towards privatizing the NHS has been an agenda-driven project continued over many years by successive Conservative and Labour governments’. Over the course of the twelve minute talk, Dr Gill highlights some of the issues the NHS faces. These are the key assertions he makes in the presentation:
-The intention of successive governments’ has been to transform a publicly-funded free at the point of delivery healthcare system into something that is driven by the need for profit.
-The privatization agenda has been a well-planned long-term project.
-Successive governments’ have understood NHS privatization is not in the public interest and thus they have devised alternative narratives in order to deceive the public.
-A key component of this deception has been the deliberate cultivation of a ‘scapegoating’ culture in which the elderly, immigrants, overweight etc are blamed for government under-investment in the NHS. This lack of investment is portrayed in the media as NHS Trust ‘overspending’.
-The hospital network has been deliberately saddled with toxic loans.
-In legal terms, the 2012 Health and Social Care Act abolished the NHS. The result was the emergence of a Quango headed by NHS England’s Simon Stevens who has the day-to-day power of managing the service.
-In 2014 Steven’s introduced a 5 year ‘Sustainability and Transformation’ Plan (STP). This will move the NHS closer to the private US insurance system through a process of re-structuring, dismantling, integration, means-testing and merging of existing NHS services.
-Both the NHS workforce and the general public are largely unaware of these plans which have been made deliberately complex and drawn-out over many years. This is yet another part of the plan to deceive, not just the general public, but NHS staff also.
-NHS reforms are reported in the media in a positive way. This is despite the fact that the said reforms will result in its destruction.
-The British Medical Association (BMA) is largely complicit in the privatization agenda as illustrated by their capitulation over the junior doctors contract dispute.
-Jeremy Hunt, whose powers are limited, is being used by the media as a distraction.
-Simon Stevens, who has the real power, has been deliberately set-up by the media as a ‘saviour’ for the NHS, whereas Hunt is portrayed as the ‘bad guy’. This is a deliberate media distraction.
-Simon Stevens has one duty and ambition for the NHS and that’s to hand it over to his former colleagues at United Health in the US and the US insurance industry.
-Stevens is “the most dangerous public servant in the country.”
-The NHS is subject to competition law and is under constant threat from internationally negotiated trade deals.
-As a result of the introduction of a process of data gathering, increasingly the NHS is being geared-up to work against the interests of the patient.
-The NHS is heading in a direction in which doctors will be incentivized to deny patient care.
-The introduction of the principle of private insurance will result in a more expensive system with worse outcomes.
-The plan to fully privatize the NHS is “endemically fraudulent”.
Dr Gill alludes to the fact that the deliberate asset-stripping of the NHS ranks as one of the greatest crimes inflicted on the British people. The jewel in Britain’s crown is being whittled away in front of the public’s eyes. All the while the Conservative government has convinced large swaths of the public that Simon Stevens is the saviour of the service when in truth he’s its principal destroyer. Like a TV illusionist, the government is involved in an incredible sleight of hand – some may say, collective hypnosis of the British people.
The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is the public’s punch bag whose role, in reality, is little more than a public relations figure for the government and corporations they represent. Where the blows of both NHS workers and the public alike would arguably be better targeted is on the chin of the head of NHS England’s, Simon Stevens whose power to be able to shape the future direction of the NHS far exceeds that of Hunt.
Although it’s highly encouraging that an estimated 250,000 people attended the last national demonstration against NHS cuts in London, it is somewhat perplexing to this writer why Corbyn in his otherwise excellent speech, failed to mention the nefarious role played by Stevens which is crucial to the entire NHS debate. How is it possible for activists and campaigners to get anywhere near the bulls eye with their arrows when the correct target hasn’t even been identified by the leader of the opposition?
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