The NHS is under dangerous threat of becoming an insurance-based health service according to GP Dr Bob Gill who spoke at a public meeting in Marlborough (November 28). Dr Gill is non-political – the event was hosted by the Devizes Labour Party.
Dr Gill outlined the changes that have occurred to our health service since the 1980s and showed how the introduction of private investment is creating a legacy of debt that the NHS cannot continue to service.
He predicted that we will end up with a health service similar to the US where the poor and the ill cannot afford the insurance they need for health care. But he emphasised that we are all at risk from this insurance-based health system, particularly the middle classes.
Christine Sibley organised the event because she was becoming increasingly worried about creeping privatisation in the NHS: “I was shocked to discover how much of the NHS has already been privatised, putting profit before patient care, and wanted others to know what is going before it’s too late. It is the antithesis of what the NHS was originally set up for.”
New research from the health service union GMB shows that £15 billion of NHS contracts have been outsourced to private companies since 2015 – breaking up integrated care, costing the taxpayer and sometimes leaving a poorer quality service for patients.
Devizes constituency’s Labour candidate Rachael Schneider Ross chaired the evening said: “Dr Bob Gill’s talk and the discussion that followed shone a light on how important the NHS is to us all and how we all need to speak up to defend it. Servicing PFI debt has added millions to the NHS bill and I am genuinely worried about how the insurance industry will benefit from a diminished NHS.”
By the end of the meeting it had been agreed that a cross party campaign should be launched after the general election to inform the public about the real state of – and risks to – the NHS and to demand good local health services here in the Devizes constituency.
Those who were not at the meeting can see what Dr Gill has to say about the threat to the NHS at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro-oU0u8Jos