Brown bringing private managers into NHS

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THE announcement by the Brown government that it is going to bring private managers in to run NHS hospitals is a concrete example of how the capitalist crisis is driving the Brown government to the right, to further measures of privatisation, and to carry out all of the policies that the bankers and bosses wish to see exacted.

In this they are being actively aided by trade union leaders who are refusing to fight the Brown government, and intend to donate to it up to £5 million of the trades unions’ money so that it can carry on with its Thatcherite policies.

These policies have caused huge anger in the working class, and have driven the middle class back into the arms of the Tories, making another Tory government inevitable, if the Brown regime is allowed to carry on betraying the working class.

Yesterday the trade union movement had to respond to this latest attack on the NHS.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary said, ‘In the very week that Bradford and Bingley has nearly gone belly up, the government has the cheek to try to bring private sector dogma to the NHS. The GMB will resist this move with every sinew.’

Bravely said. GMB members must see to it that these sentiments are acted on!

UNISON the giant health union, whose leaders wanted to accept the government’s three-year pay cutting deal, and had to be forced into a ballot by its membership has a different take on the issue.

Mike Jackson, the Senior National Officer for UNISON said of the announcement by Health Minister Bradshaw: ‘We welcome the additional help being offered to failing hospitals who are suffering from complex long-term financial and systemic problems.

‘However, it is unlikely that private sector managers would have the necessary experience of delivering acute and emergency services to bring long-term benefits.

‘It is wrong to suggest that the NHS would be managed more efficiently by the private sector. The NHS has shown that it has the experience and business acumen to do it better with many trusts now in surplus.’

Jackson does not oppose the use of private managers in the NHS on principle, he ‘welcomes’ them, with a proviso that he does not believe that they will do better than the NHS managers.

UNISON which has long ago stopped fighting privatisation is certainly not going to ‘resist this move with every sinew’, it is too busy propping up the Thatcherite Brown regime, despite the fact that it is making the Tories stronger by the day.

Today even the BMA, which is not even a TUC trade union, is far to the left of the trade union bureaucracy.

While UNISON boasts about the many NHS trusts in surplus, the BMA has exposed where the £515 million surplus from 2006-2007 came from.

The BMA said yesterday: ‘The Public Accounts Committee report says the creation of a £515 million surplus for the NHS in England was achieved partly by reducing central budgets for the training of doctors and other staff.’

The savings that UNISON is so proud of were made at the expense of tens of thousands of junior doctors’ jobs!

Yesterday the BMA consultants conference was crystal clear about the bringing in of private managers into the NHS trusts.

Consultants’ leader Fielden said: ‘And now, they announce they want to send in private management to sort out “failing” NHS trusts.’

He asked: ‘When will they learn that the private sector is after profit not quality?’ he also warned: ‘that the government is mesmerised by the private sector, that it is apparently fixated on a drive to allow the private sector to take over the NHS.’

He declared: ‘We will not let this government privatise the NHS.’

It is obvious what has to be done. The trade unions must be made to use their strength to bring this government down and bring in a workers government that will defend and develop the NHS. Leaders who refuse to lead this struggle must be made to resign and be replaced by those who will.