In the last three weeks, I’ve been drawn for a hat-trick of PMQs. In my first PMQ, I highlighted the Government’s reckless failure to support global vaccine equity. I followed this up the week after with a question about their deep cuts to youth services. For my third PMQ, I highlighted NHS workers protesting the Tories’ Health and Care Bill in the run-up to the NHS’s 73rd birthday.
Thousands of nurses, doctors, hospital porters and admin staff took to the streets over the weekend to protest the mismanagement of our health service and call for an end to privatisation and chronic underfunding and understaffing. I echoed their demands, calling on the Prime Minister to commit to keeping our health service publicly owned and properly funded. At this difficult time, every penny that we spend on the NHS should be going into the essential health services we all rely on. Enriching corporate shareholders and Tory party donors in the way we have during the pandemic comes at everyone else’s expense.
Health and Social Care Bill
Sadly, this is precisely what the Tories’ Health and Care Bill would do, normalising the corrupt contracting we have seen during the pandemic. This Bill, introduced in the same week as the NHS’s 73rd birthday, would roll out the red carpet for private companies to gain market access. At this point in time, more privatisation is the last thing our NHS needs. The Government’s handling of the pandemic has sent Covid hospitalisations soaring and created the longest waiting lists in recent NHS history. Throwing another round of privatisation into the mix is kicking it whilst it’s already down.
When Labour created the NHS, the Tories voted against it no less than 22 times. Their actions now speak louder than their praise of our health service during the pandemic. For them, health is just something else waiting to be turned into a profit-making endeavour. The NHS is not safe in their hands.
Click here to watch my video about the Tories’ NHS Corporate Takeover Bill.