Labour NHS plans blasted by doctors over latest private sector gig

  • Post last modified:May 23, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

An NHS doctors group has blasted Labour Party front bencher Wes Streeting’s support for sending NHS doctors and nurses to private hospitals for treatment, as new polling shows a majority of Brits oppose outsourcing operations to private hospitals.

Labour NHS plans not in step with public

The comments are in response to shadow health secretary Wes Streeting’s announcement that Labour has struck a deal with Nuffield Health to treat 4,000 NHS doctors and nurses who have back, knee and hip problems per year.

According to new Survation NHS polling for public ownership campaign group We Own It, when asked which of two policies to tackle waiting lists they support, 54% of Brits said “the government should invest money it may have paid private healthcare operators directly into the NHS, to enable it to treat more patients”.

Only 33% said “the government should continue to pay private healthcare operators to treat NHS patients”.

Doctors’ Association UK co-chair Helen Fernandes said:

The NHS should be there for everyone, but it has been chronically underfunded and understaffed over the past decade which has left it struggling to keep pace with demand.

Redirecting public money into the private sector undermines the NHS and does little more than apply a sticking plaster to a gaping wound.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has insisted that a future Labour government will use spare capacity in the private sector to cut waiting lists.

Campaigners warn that this policy puts patients at risk, is inefficient and undermines the NHS as private hospitals depend on NHS doctors for their operations.

Streeting: investment not NHS outsourcing

Helen Fernandes added:

The service needs sustainable investment in its workforce to train and retain more doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals.

And it needs sustainable investment in its infrastructure and capacity so that it is there for everyone, including our wonderful colleagues in the NHS, when they need treatment.

Johnbosco Nwogbo, lead campaigner at We Own It said:

As Health Secretary, Wes Streeting will be in charge of the NHS. His number one job should be to empower and build up the NHS so it can treat everyone, including our wonderful NHS staff who treat everyone else. His job is not to enrich private healthcare.

The private sector has no A&E, they leech resources from the NHS including staff, and they cherry-pick patients, only taking the easiest and only most profitable patients. This is a zero sum situation. If you’re putting money into private hospitals, you’re not putting that money into the NHS and the public knows it.

A recent Oxford University review has shown that outsourcing of healthcare leads to worse quality care for patients.

Featured image via Sky News – YouTube

Source link