Fight the healthcare fat cats

Submitted by Matthew on 20 June, 2012 - 10:28

According to Healthinvestor magazine, a trade journal for the parasitic profit makers in healthcare, private companies are complaining about how long it’s going to take for them to get their dirty hands on the profits from the great NHS giveaway.

It is estimated that there is a £1.3 billion market in servicing Clinical Commissioning Groups. But it’s all taking too long to siphon off.

There’s an air of nervousness amongst private sector. They fear they have been “cast as enemy number one” during the Health and Social Care Act “debacle”, says Healthinvestor.

The new Health Alarm campaign has been organising protests outside the offices of some of the big private companies poised to cream off the billions: Circle, Virgin, Care UK, Serco.

KPMG, Capita, United Health and McKinsey also hope to draw profit from running Clinical Commissioning Groups.

We talk with people passing by, we get into discussions about the NHS and against the private profiteers, and we urge people to get involved in campaigning to defend the NHS.

We put the case for taxing the rich to rebuild the NHS upfront and on the streets.

We irritate the private profiteers and let them know that they’re not going to get an easy ride for their millions.

Activists also have to fight to get the Labour Party to commit to repealing the Health and Social Care Act and reversing the NHS cuts.

Health Alarm is joining with others in the NHS Liaison Network to stage a lobby of Labour Party conference, on 2 October in Manchester.

Labour movement and campaigning organisations including the North West region of Unite the Union and Wirral TUC are supporting the lobby.

The combination of the Health and Social Care Act and £20 billion taken from the NHS budget means cuts and closures all over the country.

By the time we next get a Labour government, far too much damage is likely to have been done for us to be satisfied simply with the Act repeal.

We have to demand that Labour rebuild the NHS. That it put this centre stage in its manifesto.

That it invest in the care of the sick, the vulnerable the old and young with the same passion and vigour that Blair’s “New Labour” urged private companies to fleece the NHS through PFI deals.

Protest at Capita!

The NHS Liaison Network is protesting against the threat, under the Health and Social Care Act, to hand over more and more bits of the Health Service to Capita and other profit-greedy “outsourcing” companies.

Capita has long been known in Private Eye as “Crapita” and “the world’s worst outsourcing firm”. But in the neoliberal era, it, like other firms set up to grab juicy contracted-out bits of public services, has boomed. Its turnover increased from £25 million in 1991 to £2.9 billion in 2011.

Its pre-tax profits have risen to £300 million in 2011.

Capita was responsible for the multibillion pound failed/delayed IT project for the NHS and HMRC. It messed up on staff administration services at Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust and the BBC, so that staff details were lost. In 2002, when mandatory CRB-vetting of everyone working with children was brought in, a large number of teachers were temporarily unable to work because Capita’s systems failed: it was so bad that the start of the school year was delayed in some places.

Capita ran the Individual Learning Account, a £290 million scheme intended to give financial support to adult learners — opened in 2000 and then scrapped in 2001 following widespread and massive fraud.

Capita was involved in the near-collapse of court translation services after their acquisition of Applied Language Services.

In December 2010 the Daily Mail reported: “The wealthy boss of an outsourcing firm stunned his workers when he complained about being labelled a fat cat, even though he earns thousands a week.

Paul Pindar, chief executive of Capita, was upset by a leaflet handed to him at the company’s London headquarters which claimed he was on a £9.8 million pay and benefits package. Mr Pindar, 51, told workers he was only paid a weekly wage of £14,500.

“Staff expressed amazement. One Capita employee said: ‘We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“Here was one of Britain’s highest paid bosses telling people on just above minimum wage that he earns a mere £770,000 a year.’”

Friday 13 July, 17:30 to 18:30, Capita office,

71 Victoria St, London SW1H 0XA

Stop St Helier closure!

Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has recommended that St Helier Hospital lose its A&E and maternity units.

Local opposition is gathering pace. Kevin O‘Brien, secretary of the Sutton and Merton TUC, says: “This has got nothing to do with ‘Better Services Better Value’. This is about massive cuts, cuts and more cuts.

“The Liberal Democrats have sold their souls to the Tory Devil”.

Labour lobby

The NHS Liaison Network is planning a lobby of the Labour Party conference on 2 October in Manchester. Its demands are:

* Labour should state clearly that it is for a return to the founding principle: Healthcare for all, free at the point of need.

* A clear pledge to repeal the ConDems’ Health and Social Care Act.

* Business out of the NHS: reverse privatisation and outsourcing at every level.

* End PFI and liberate the NHS from extortionate PFI charges.

* Healthcare provision to meet needs; not overgrown bureaucracy: abolish the internal market.

* Tax the rich to rebuild the NHS and fund quality provision for all.

• More info here

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