LABOUR’S shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has called for NHS privatisation to be halted until after the 2015 general election.
Speaking yesterday Burnham said ‘privatisation is being forced through at pace and scale’ without the permission of the British people.
Burnham said: ‘Commissioners have been ordered to put all services out to the market. NHS spending on private and other providers has gone through the £10bn barrier for the first time.
‘When did the British public ever give their consent for this?
‘It is indefensible for the character of the country”s most valued institution to be changed in this way without the public being given a say.’
Unite backed Burnham’s call to halt the privatisation of the NHS.
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.’