NHS was established on the basis that there should be free medical care to the entire population. Back in 1948, it was the first such scheme in any Western country, funded by the taxpayer and from no other source. But now the NHS is a euphemism for privatisation, cuts to services and the retrenchment of benefits. So what has happened?
Privatising British Railways was meant to bring innovation, efficiency, competition and therefore lower fares but the reality, well it’s been very different. The former British Prime Minister and devout neo liberal Margaret Thatcher was in favour of mass privatisation but even she claimed that privatising the British Rail System was ‘a privatisation too far’ but this didn’t stop her successors. So on this program we ask. Was the neoliberal dream of rail privatisation actually the great British train robbery?
In the UK, the Tories have slashed NHS funding, public housing and social care, policing, libraries, arts – even school dinners – on the grounds it was unaffordable. But it was comfortable spending £142 million per year subsidising the defence force (including the promotion of arms exports), and another £18 billion in corporate tax cuts for the private sector, and £120bn building a bloody great bridge to France.
The Tories are deliberately under-funding the NHS to erode public confidence in order to manufacture consent for privatisation. The aim is to reconfigure the service from a free at the point of use healthcare system, towards a fee-paying US model. Daniel Margrain provides the insight…
We’re seeing more public sector entities being outsourced, health and social care services privatized and a culture of competition and management speak introduced into public services. Daniel Margrain shows how the political agenda on both sides have shaped the NHS crisis unfolding today.