The Green Party wants to see an end to “the privatisation experiment” in the NHS, and action to tackle the current funding crisis that is threatening care and disaffecting staff.
Darren Woodiwiss, Green Party Candidate in for the Harborough Constituency, which covers Market Harborough, Oadby and Wigston, said:
“People really value our NHS above all other public services. Yet the government has been slowly privatising it, piece by piece. What’s more, it needs a considerable injection of funding to plug the hole in its finances. Indeed, health should not be seen as some sort of precious commodity, but as something to which we should all have equal access.”
Campaigners for a public NHS point out that in 1989 private firms had a relatively minor role in clinical based NHS care. Today however, the market approach to care has seen opportunities for the private sector greatly increase, with walk-in centres, urgent care units, ambulance services, maternity care, GP services and even entire hospitals among the many services open to privatisation.
The co-leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas, has set out the party’s plans for ending marketisation in the NHS to ensure that the health service is ‘fit for the challenges of the twenty first century’.
“A confident and caring country is one where we provide people with the healthcare they need, free at the point of use. The current Government is putting our NHS through a cruel form of shock therapy – leaving the patient weaker and on the verge of collapse.”
“The Green Party will reverse this race to the bottom on health provision and reinstate our health service to make it a world leader.”
In 2015 Caroline Lucas introduced the NHS Reinstatement Bill into Parliament which aimed to roll back privatisation, so that all health and dental services are always publicly provided and funded, and free at the point of access.
Other Green Party policies on health include
- Bringing spending on mental health care in line with spending on physical health care.
- Stopping further private finance initiative (PFI) contracts.
- Engaging and consulting with health service professionals on any future developments; and removing the pay cap on their salaries.