For two thirds of its life the NHS focussed on delivering good health care for very little money. It was cost and clinically effective despite chronic underfunding.
That changed 20 years ago with the introduction of the market;
providers (hospitals, cleaners, ambulance services, etc.) were split away from organisations that purchased care. This allowed successive governments to introduce private companies into the market.
These private providers have increasingly taken over from state providers while raking in profits and being accountable to no-one except their shareholders. Their motive is making money not health care.
The new health bill, despite some minor changes brought in after the "listening exercise", takes the NHS further down the path of privatisation. It will bring competition and privatisation and turn the National Health Service
into a scheme to make money for private companies.
The health bill also removes the duty of the Secretary of State to provide medical services and it gives GPs the duty to hold the budgets for care of their patients. GPs are concerned that this will damage their relationship with patients who will be worried about an obvious conflict of interest.
The Green Party has opposed the bill since its introduction, calling
for an end to the market, an end to privatisation and for the NHS to be truly accountable to its users.
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