Nerve 7 Editorial - 'Pocket full of Promises'
'The NHS is being dismantled and privatised. Very soon every part of it will have been 'unbundled' and commodified.'* This new NHS will be run like a supermarket if we follow the logic of NHS chief executive, Nigel Crisp, who says that foundation trusts "should adopt the same marketing techniques as Tesco in their bids to win customers in the new choice-based NHS market".
Tony Blair is steaming ahead towards a US-style health lottery in the face of opposition from his own party, the medical profession and public opinion. Government expenditure on the NHS is projected to rise an extra £20bn by 2008, but this extra money will mostly go on increased administration and privatisation costs. Under the Tories' 'internal market' of the '90s, admin costs rose from 6% to 12% of the budget, while the US spent 34% in their for-profit hospitals.
When Paul Simon sang, '… a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest' he could have been talking about Blair and his cronies in the Cabinet. They're all in denial, and just do the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation's bidding.
It's just a 'Pocket full of Promises' from New Labour. But there is resistance from trade unions, health professionals and communities. It's time for them to come together and promote mass action to defend our heritage.
On these pages we have a range of articles about health as well as our usual art coverage, and we even link the two by covering art therapy - so it's not all 'doom and gloom' folks.
Nerve 7 will be available for free in News From Nowhere as well as all local cultural venues, cafes and libraries in Liverpool.
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*Allyson M. Pollock ‘NHS plc: The Privatisation of Our Health Care’,