Unite, Britain’s biggest union, says the government’s health act is a disaster for the NHS. Labour’s shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham’s speech calling for a moratorium on privatisation is firmly in-step with public opinion.
Giving a speech in Manchester today (29 July) Andy Burnham announced that he has written to the chief executive of NHS England to ask that no further contracts for NHS clinical services are signed until after the next election.
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey said: “The government’s health and social care act is a disaster for the NHS and Andy Burnham is firmly on the right side of public opinion. Growing numbers of people across the country are getting angry when they learn that NHS services are being put up for sale by the Tories.
“Community campaigners in places such as Morecambe Bay in the North West have been calling for a moratorium on the sell-off of NHS services at their hospitals - it’s great to hear a Labour politician reflecting those same concerns.
“David Cameron is behaving like an estate agent who has put a big for sale sign up outside your home without permission. The government’s odious health act is being used to sell-off huge swathes of NHS clinical services from cancer care to in-house pharmacies. Since the government’s health act came in to force, 70 per cent of health services put out to tender have gone to the private sector.
“To make matters worse an EU-US trade deal called TTIP threatens to lock-in privatisation. It will give US and Wall Street investors the right to sue the UK government in secret courts if it attempts to reverse privatisation. David Cameron has done nothing to ensure our health services have been excluded from this trade deal.
“Working people and community campaigners up and down the country are getting active and standing-up against the sell-off of their local services. Health is a major concern for the people of this country and it’s going to be a big election issue in May 2015.”
For further information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.