19 January 2008

Save the NHS

There will always be a battle on the part of private profiteers to take over services they see could turn a dollar. Globally, there was a fierce war over privatizing water during the 1990s. Maybe that one has ebbed for a while. For-profit health insurance, which is a proven money-maker (and killer), is like a parasitic invader around the world, even in places where the public good has seemingly won out. Like Great Britain.

Keep Our NHS Public is a group publicizing the fact that "vital services and precious NHS resources are being handed over to the private sector, including companies run for profit for shareholders here and overseas." The group was launched in September 2005, and, like the single-payer movement in the United States looks to be led by doctors, academics, health workers and trade union leaders.

Tony Blair forced the group to mobilize, because of market reforms he'd pushed. Gordon Brown recently committed to keep on track with Blair's misguided efforts.

Lord Darzi, Brown's health minister, has put forth an interim report on the NHS -- which has been analyzed in turn by the Keep Our NHS Public group. They found Darzi's use of evidence is weak, and without any evaluation of the impact of markets on the NHS so far.

NHS staff and patients are calling for a moratorium on market reforms.

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