NHS at risk from American trade deal!

So it’s finally happening. The UK is in meltdown and Boris Johnson and his criminally insane cabinet ministers are out to create havoc and destruction for the common folk of this country. For regular readers of my column I would like to assure you that I will not focus on this anymore but highlight something much worse that is creeping on these islands and no one seems to be paying much attention to it. Our precious NHS will be up for sale to the Americans to be privatised and controlled by the 1% after Brexit. A select group of present and past members of parliament will extensively benefit from this sale and all this started in 2000 by the then Labour health secretary Alan Milburn who in order to tackle the problems of the NHS went for help to a most unlikely individual, Richard Branson!

Prompted by this request, a team from Virgin visited GP surgeries and hospitals over a three month period and in a 31 page report concluded that the NHS needed to adapt and change quickly in order to survive and thrive. Not the words they actually used in the damming report, but you get my point. The virgin boss was a very successful entrepreneur by then running various businesses from music to airlines. A very clever and shrewd businessman who is now reaping the benefits financially through government contracts not only in the UK but globally. He has politicians and bureaucrats in his pocket while charming the world with his down to earth attitude and smile!

Almost two decades later, Virgin is claiming billions of pounds of tax payers money to boost its profits while the NHS is neither improved or better! Virgin Care has won over £2bn of contracts since 2010, the year the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition escalated the agenda to benefit private companies like Virgin Care all in the name of  reducing the cost for tax payers. Since 2013 Virgin Care has spread its tentacles in these areas; children and immunisation, community and sexual health, treatments, prisons and multiple other services across England. At the heart of this empire is Virgin Group Holdings Limited, a holding company based in the British Virgin Isles, a convenient tax haven! It has also managed to sue and win a £2million pay-out from an NHS Trust for loss of contract. So much for the good guy image portrayed by its founder.

It really beggars belief that so many supposedly educated and well-informed people in this country are blinded by headline news from politicians and tabloids and fail to see the obvious truth of what really is happening. In Scotland the NHS is still under public ownership and thankfully its budget is currently ring-fenced by the SNP government. The NHS is already on the road to complete privatisation in England by contracts given out to private firms to supply services and other associated contractual work.

What will happen to the NHS in Scotland if the Tories win at Holyrood next?

Published in the Peeblesshire News on 20th September 2019.