The Blanket Home

Index: Current Articles

I am convinced that a government which wants to uplift its own people ... must give free play to private enterprise and forego any measure of state control or paternalism, which ... will turn out to be fatal to the economic development of a country.
- Benito Mussolini



Bill of Health


Tommy Gorman


Amidst all the claims and counterclaims on the health of the Health Service one thing is very clear - there is and never should have been any room for private enterprise within the this vital resource. The Thatcherite policy of privatising everything is being pursued, with even more gusto, by New Labour. When privatisation is permitted into health provision and its ancillary services we should all be concerned.

The only motivation for private business is the maximisation of profit for their investment. Private companies are answerable to no one except their shareholders. In pursuit of ever increasing returns, they will keep wages and other overheads as low as possible. In the lead up to the privatation of cleaning services within the NHS trade unions warned of the consequences of such a move - the loss of jobs and other cut-backs resulting inevitably in a drop in the standard of delivery. Their concerns were ignored and their predictions have proved, if anything, to be an underestimation of the problems

In the past 18 months it is estimated that over 1,200 people have died within the NHS as the result of infections picked up in hospital. The virus within local hospitals is but the latest symptom of a more profound malaise caused by the greed of private business who, without any apparent opposition from political representatives, are well on their way to transforming the caring service into a money spinning industry.

Our television screens are regularly filled with images of the consequences of privatisation on the rail system in Britain-crashes and trains running late or not at all. If our health service runs off the rails because of the demands for ever increasing profits the consequences will be infinitely more disastrous for us all, but particularly for those in most need in our society.



Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters Archives