Starmer makes shocking admission about NHS privatisation

  • Post last modified:June 6, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

NHS privatisation is a hot topic at present. At the ITV leaders general election debate, Keir Starmer has said he wouldn’t use private healthcare even if he was on a waiting list for surgery:

I don’t use private health. I use the NHS that’s where my wife works at one of the big hospitals. It runs through my DNA.

Starmer’s answer raises the question of why the Labour Party is planning to expand private provision in the NHS. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has said:

We will go further than New Labour ever did. I want the NHS to form partnerships with the private sector that goes beyond just hospitals.

Starmer’s plans: patient safety risks?

Perhaps Starmer won’t go private because of the risks of mixing profit with healthcare.

Researchers at Oxford University found in a 2022 peer reviewed study that there are links between privatisation and increased death rates.

Outsourced NHS services were associated with an additional 557 deaths between 2014 and 2022.

In 2018, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that two fifths of private hospitals failed to meet safety standards.

And in the largely for profit US healthcare system, workers say corporate hospitals cut costs to make more profit.

Labour: expanding privatisation of the NHS

Streeting has accepted around £175,000 from two donors with links to private healthcare. Accordingly, he wants to increase profiteering in the NHS.

And from his comments on New Labour, it seems Streeting may want to use private finance initiatives (PFI) to fund NHS projects.

Rather than using the nation’s sovereign currency to invest in more healthcare facilities, PFI amasses huge debt from the private sector. It’s simply a way to turn parts of the public sector into a cash cow.

Yet Starmer originally pledged in 2020 to “end outsourcing” in the NHS.

Labour’s privatising approach is out of step with the public. Eight in 10 people who used private healthcare in 2022 said they would always or usually use the NHS, if not for the strain it’s under.

And 78% of UK people believe the NHS should be run in the public sector.

The entire private healthcare sector takes resources and staff away from the NHS. Then, it charges people more to use services. The increased costs are accompanied with risks to patient safety.

Starmer himself says he won’t even use private healthcare. Then why are his general election plans to expand privatisation of the NHS? That’s a questions that someone should ask.

Featured image via ITV News – YouTube

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