Coalition NHS will see patients spin 'wheel of for...

Coalition NHS will see patients spin 'wheel of misfortune' as private health grip tightens

22 April 2013

Britain biggest union, Unite, will host a grim new game show outside Westminster on Wednesday 24 April to mark the day peers debate the pro-privatisation section 75 NHS regulations.
With a spin of the huge NHS wheel of misfortune, MPs and passers-by will find out just how much it will cost for medical procedures if the backdoor privatisation of the NHS continues unchecked.
WHEN:  Wednesday 24 April 2013, 11:00-12:00 
WHERE: Old Palace Yard, opposite parliament SW1 

Unite fears that the coalition’s NHS policies, including a multi billion pound funding squeeze coupled with a massive reorganisation, will destroy the 65 year old health service, paving the way for a new marketised system where paying up to £10,000 for maternity costs or £13,450 for a new hip is the norm.
A ‘patient’ on a drip and NHS staff will be goaded into spinning the NHS wheel of misfortune by game show hosts David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt.
Rachael Maskell, Unite head of health, said: “Patients need MPs and peers to wake up urgently to what this government is doing to our NHS. Since 2010, the private grip on this public service has tightened with more than £20 billion of our health pounds now in private hands but the regulations before parliament today will only accelerate this.

"With falling income and a costly upheaval, the health service is under tremendous stress.  Private companies are desperate to advantage of this, encouraged by the government.  The harsh truth though is that they will not take decisions in the best interests of patients but for their profits.
"Already, one of the most powerful figures in the NHS, Malcolm Grant, has warned that healthcare free at the point of use in England, is at risk, which is why we must fight to stop the private sector being given a free pass to our NHS.
"The government has already been warned about its sneaky attempts to allow the private sector into the NHS through the back door.  It was handed back the regulations and told to think again.
“But the House of Lords' fatal motion today is needed because the government is at it again.  The regulations that it is trying to push through parliament will unleash full compulsive competitive tendering on all NHS services.
“The government’s warm words are fast becoming dangerously misleading.  It promised to re-write the regulations in the best interest of patients but have instead allowed private industry to get a massive great foot in the door.
“The NHS wheel of misfortune will be a reality if we don’t take a stand to defend what is perhaps the greatest social benefit of any country. Sixty-five years of healthcare based on need and not the ability to pay is at stake.”
The Section 75 regulations have already been withdrawn and re-written once following a huge public outcry. Peers will debate a fatal motion laid before parliament by Labour peer, Lord Phil Hunt, calling for the regulations to be annulled on the grounds that they do not implement the assurances given by parliament.
For further information contact Chantal Chegrinec, Unite communications officer, on 07774 146 777

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.