Tuesday 24 April 2012

Stop parasites sucking funds out of the NHS

The BBC news carried a story this morning about a pharmaceutical company threatening to sue a health trust in England for using a cheaper generic eye drop instead of their patented one. The company concerned claims that patients are being put at risk by the use of a unregulated treatment. Of course it couldn't have anything to do with pricing policies which rob the NHS for greedy shareholders could it?

NHS users in Wales are grateful that we are shielded (for now) from some of the worst effects of the privatisation of huge swathes of the NHS in England, through the mis-named NHS Reform Bill that has just passed. But that doesn't mean that the increasing commercialisation of health care services won't affect NHS users in Wales. Labour in Wales says that there is no privatisation of health care in Wales - in so doing, they ignore the inconvenient fact of the PFI hospital at Baglan Moors.

There are huge profits to be made for private firms in selling medicines, other supplies and services to the NHS. The same big multinational pharmaceutical companies leech of the NHS in Wales as in England, able to charge what they like for drugs that are desperately needed.

With the NHS in Wales facing even bigger proportionate falls in funding than in England, Welsh hospitals are making cuts to beds and services. HTV reported this week that operations are being cancelled due to a shortage of beds. According to the report, nearly 3,000 procedures were cancelled between 2010 and 2011. In these circumstances will Welsh local health boards be tempted to prescribe cheaper, less regulated drugs or will they simply not be able to offer treatments because of price?

A campaign to stop cuts in the NHS that fails to call for the nationalisation of the big pharmaceutical companies that bleed the NHS dry, only addresses a part of the issue. Labour won't make such a call. Cherie Blair by the way has just taken up a lucrative post with a private healthcare provider!

End and reverse all privatisation in healthcare!
Nationalise the giant pharmaceutical firms!
Free healthcare for the millions not private profits for the millionaires!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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