Healthcare is not a commodity to be bought & sold

27 December 2017

It is becoming clear that one issue above all others is giving concern to the people of Macclesfield.  Responding to our survey, 88% of residents - eight out of nine - tell us that they are “very worried” about health services.

Small wonder, given recent headlines like: “Town to lose mental health or dementia inpatient service” and the closure two years ago of Hollins View care home, believed to have resulted from a dispute between Health & Social Services.

It’s all very well for our Member of Parliament to make noises about “blocking moves” until “questions” have been “answered” and “proposals … substantially improved”.  He is not only a Conservative, but a junior member of the government which is pushing through the systematic commercialisation of our Health Service, handing over more and more into the hands of corporations and putting profits before people.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt seems to favour an American model of healthcare - which must be the most expensive and least accessible in the “developed” world.  Campaigners - including eminent physicist Stephen Hawking - have been moved to take legal action to try and prevent this commercialisation of our health services.

Labour has also played its part in the great NHS sell-off.  The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) - mortgaging chunks of the NHS off to private healthcare companies, builders and banks - first introduced by John Major’s Conservatives in 1992, was massively expanded by Labour soon after taking office in 1995.

Healthcare is not a commodity to be bought or sold. The NHS must provide healthcare, free at the point of need, funded through taxation. It must be a public service funded by, run by and accountable to local and national government and devoid of all privatisation. The NHS is there to provide healthcare and should not be subject to market forces, internal or external.