Privatisation north of the border

There is not the same drive to privatisation in Scotland as Gordon Brown’s Government is demanding in England. Some of the same “market” pressures exist though.

There is an article in today’s Glasgow Evening Times exposing a plan to privatise by NHS Glasgow and Clyde. They are negotiating a deal with Capita Health Solutions to take over the NHS Board’s own occupational health team. They are supposedly looking for a more “efficient” service.

Capita Health Solutions are part of the Capita Group. Capita are best know for business process outsourcing. That’s privatisation in the NHS and offshoring elsewhere. Capita describe their vision for the NHS:

“Outsourced services and public private partnerships are increasingly seen as key to building capacity and delivering the capability and experience necessary to facilitate this change.”

It must be a profitable business. Capita is worth £4 billion.

The privatisation of occupational health in Glasgow may seem small in comparision to some of the attacks we have been facing south of the border – but it must be resisted just as strongly. It has always been a powerful argument against privatisation that Scotland has been able to provide a quality health service without it.

I hope our colleagues in Scotland can prevent this attack succeeding. The rest of us need to give them our full support.

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