Health campaigners are urging the Government to stop rewarding private sector firms with NHS contracts and restore the health service to a publicly owned and controlled national resource, in the wake of the Carillion debacle.
The construction giant which faces liquidation has tens of millions of pounds worth of NHS contracts for building and maintaining hospitals.There are fears its collapse will leave the taxpayer having to prop up the ailing company or face much needed hospitals not being built or maintained during this unprecedented winter crisis.
Commenting on the Carillion collapse, Sam Fairbairn - National Secretary, of the
People's Assembly said:
"This is proof that the private sector has no place in providing any aspect of our public services. Now thousands of jobs and pensions are at risk and important infrastructure development is likely to be delayed. The government knew the company was in trouble but continued to give them contracts. Privatisation does nothing to benefit the majority but this government continues to sell off our public services to these greedy companies who only care about profit for their shareholders".
Jac Berry - NHS Nurse and Health Campaigns Together spokesperson, said:
"The liquidation of Carillion shows that despite receiving billions of pounds in government contracts, the private sector cannot be relied upon to deliver public services. You can’t control what you don’t own. These contracts need to be bought back in house immediately with protection for workers’ pay and conditions."
NHS activists are preparing for the biggest demonstration of the year on February 3rd to protect our treasured health service and call for an end to private companies profiting at the expense of the public.
At the end of last year, Serco took over facilities management support services from Carillion for over 50 NHS sites across the country which included five acute hospital trusts.
The annual revenue was expected to be around £90m and the contracts which run for 14 years on average, would be “profitable” according to Serco.
Other private companies to make a mint from the NHS include Virgin care which recently successfully sued the NHS over its tendering process and have contracts worth in excess of £1bn.
Mr Fairbairn added:
“It is no good the government saying to the taxpayer pick up the tab for the Carillion debacle and then sell off those contracts to their competitors in the private sector. The merry go round of rewarding private sector companies for profiting from our NHS must end along with the hand-in-glove approach it has with big business.
“It is vitally important the public channel their frustration and anger at how the NHS its workers and patients are being treated by joining us on the 3rd February.”
Join the Emergency Demonstration:
NHS IN CRISIS - FIX IT NOW
12pm, Saturday 3 February
Assemble Gower Street Central London WC1