Estate Agents Cameron, Clegg & Lansley, held a viewing of prime residential property - St Thomas’ Hospital in London today (1 April 2011). UNISON, the UK’s largest union, organised the spoof sell off to expose the huge dangers lurking in the Tory’s Health and Social Care Bill.
The union is warning that Lansley’s vanity project poses a health risk to patients, to the NHS and to the nurses, midwives, hospital porters and medical secretaries who keep our health service running.
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Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said:
“Selling off the NHS is no joke – but that’s exactly what’s the Health and Social Care Bill paves the way for. Even the Tories are waking up to the toxic prescription that the Health and Social Care Bill really is for our NHS.
“Handing over £80 billion to GPs is a reckless gamble. Doctors don’t want it, and it will poison the relationship between patients and their GP. Who wants to be sitting across from their doctor wondering if the treatment they are prescribed is what they need, or what the GP can afford to pay for?
“And taking the private income cap off hospitals when they are being hit with cuts is a recipe for disaster. Patients who can pay will be the top priority. NHS patients will be pushed to the back of the queue – eroding the core principles our NHS was founded on.
“It’s time to take the Health and Social Care Bill to the mortuary - where it belongs.”
The hospital sell off stunt is part of a nationwide day of action against the Health Bill, and ahead of the union’s annual health conference. Taking part in Liverpool, the health conference brings together 1200 delegates, representing UNISON’s 460,000 health workers.
UNISON’s big opposition to the titanic Health and Social Care Bill
* Big cuts in health spending. These are being taken from patient care and leading to job losses – including clinical staff – across the NHS.
* Opening up the NHS to private profit. Taxpayers’ money destined for NHS patients will be diverted into shareholder profits.
* NHS patients will be pushed to the back of the queue because the proposed Bill will take the cap off the amount hospitals can earn from private patients.
* It means competition, not co-operation. The government wants to run the NHS through competition between different health providers and market forces.
* It will create a huge postcode lottery. The care patients can expect will vary from place to place, increasing costs and health inequalities and hurting vulnerable people the most. No-one voted for this.
* The NHS is working and public satisfaction with the NHS is at an all time high. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?