January 15, 2020 2:50 PM

Tories are already moving to give up the NHS for profit

Front-line workers in the NHS have felt ignored by the Government - and now the Tories look set to give up the NHS for profit.

This Christmas I’ve been proud to support my hard-working colleagues on the front line by doing shifts in my local A&E.

We’re all touched by the NHS at some point in our lives. For over 70 years it has been our lifeline, the glue holding our society together, often forgotten about, but there in our times of greatest need. The NHS is there to bring life, to offer care and dignity when we leave the world, and to support our loved ones when tragedy hits. But front-line workers in the NHS have felt ignored and that the Government does not recognise the day-to-day pressures they face. It didn’t start with claims on the side of a bus during the European ­referendum campaign in 2016 but, since then, using the NHS for political gain certainly picked up pace.

Throughout the election, Boris Johnson repeatedly denied that the NHS would be up for sale. Just two weeks after the election, it was revealed that NHS cancer care and children’s treatments are up for grabs in a stealth Tory sell-off. Cardiology, gynaecology, paediatrics and oncology are among the services being offered to companies. As an A&E doctor, when someone is rushed into A&E having a heart attack, we work to patch someone up before sending them off to heart ­specialists.

How will it feel knowing that those services are now being provided by a private company? Where is the trust? Allowing hospital trusts to ­outsource treatment to private companies could lead to a postcode lottery of health care, further ­widening the health divide. We need to be bringing the UK together, not tearing it apart, turning communities against each other. On top of this, ­discussions are taking place with tech giants on how to make money from patient data. While we must do everything possible to look for cures and ensure a better patient journey, we need to know how our own data is being used. The last decade has shown us that we must exercise caution with tech ­giants. The Government does not have the money or expertise needed to create an anonymised patient database, which is exactly why Amazon and Microsoft have been approached.

Trust in our NHS cannot be ­destroyed because without trust, everything else could be up for grabs.

I was stunned and heartbroken after the election result and bereft at what it would mean for our NHS. Our hospitals, treatments and ­dedicated staff cannot simply be sold off to the highest bidder. These aren’t the principles our NHS was founded and built on and I will continue fighting, standing side by side with our hospital workers, to protect our NHS from those who wish to destroy it.

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