WITH coronavirus cases continuing to rapidly increase day on day as a result of the Tories’ campaign to drive the reopening of workplaces, schools and universities, the vital issue of testing for Covid-19 has descended into complete chaos as a result of the Tory determination to hand the NHS over to private companies.
Over 300 schools have already been partially or completely closed because of outbreaks of Covid-19 that cannot be confirmed due to lack of testing.
So massive is the testing crisis that the NHS faces collapsing under the weight as testing and test results grind to a halt.
According to NHS Providers, the entire service is at risk as frontline medics, unable to get tests for themselves or their families, are forced to self-isolate.
In the ten worst-hit areas of the country for Covid-19 no tests are available for NHS staff.
Saffron Cordery, NHS Providers deputy chief executive, told the BBC: ‘It means that trusts up and down the country are unable to start the restoration of services that we so desperately need to see after Covid.’
In a speech on Tuesday, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Chair of the British Medical Association, poured scorn on the Tories’ claims that they had created a ‘world beating’ test, track and trace system.
Boris Johnson’s ‘Moonshot’ project announced last week promises to deliver 10 million tests by early next year – an empty boast that Dr Nagpaul dismissed saying:
‘The government is now shooting for the moon promising to deliver mass continuous testing with a test that doesn’t yet exist at a cost nearly as much as the total NHS budget.’
He continued: ‘Down here on Planet Earth, we need a fit for purpose test and trace system in the here and now with capacity, agility and accessibility that doesn’t require 100-mile journeys that disadvantage some of the most vulnerable.’
So desperate are the Tories to deny their culpability for the crisis that Professor Alan McNally who helped set up the Lighthouse testing labs, that were supposed to be the government’s flagship for testing, said last week that the true cause of the crisis is ‘the most closely guarded secret in Whitehall’.
In fact the cause of the crisis is only too obvious.
The Lighthouse project was set up explicitly to sideline the NHS. Private sector Lighthouse labs were set up in April by the accountancy firm Deloitte, deliberately bypassing the NHS and public health network.
These private labs operated completely separately from NHS labs and used different testing kits from the NHS, making it extremely difficult for the NHS to step in and help in the emergency that has overwhelmed the privateers.
They relied not on experienced laboratory experts but upon barely trained undergraduates to carry out the testing analysis.
Ian Evans of the Unite union healthcare committee said: ‘Long-established NHS laboratories with a wealth of professional experience built up over decades appear to have been marginalised in the battle against coronavirus – this has been a huge mistake.’
This was no mistake by the Tories but part of their drive to use coronavirus as a platform to dole out millions to companies like Deloitte, Serco and the rest of the privateer parasites who want only to make a fortune out of a health crisis.
Nurses, carers and other NHS staff are treated with contempt by a Tory government that has refused to give them a pay rise and that has spent the last decade closing down A&Es, maternity units, wards and even entire hospitals while billions have been given out to private companies.
There is only one answer to the crisis facing the working class today and that is to demand that unions like Unite stop just complaining about Tory ‘mistakes’ and take mass strike action to bring down the Tory government and replace it with a workers government.
A workers government will carry out socialist policies of expropriating the privateers along with the banks and major industry and use the wealth of the country to fully fund the NHS and make available the most advanced medical scientific developments needed to combat the virus available to all.