Local Health Campaigner, Dr Charles West, today condemned the practice of senior politicians taking money from business interests.
Dr West said, “We heard yesterday that the problem of money buying influence has got even worse. Tory Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, it seems has taken £21,000 from the Chairman of Care UK. Care UK are a large provider of privatised services to the NHS. They run 12 privatised GP surgeries and over 200 services for older people.
Dr West continued “For years it has been the practice of ex-ministers to take lucrative consultancies with private companies. Patricia Hewitt, previous Labour Secretary of State for Health, has worked for Accenture who made a lot of money out of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes. She is a special consultant to Boots, the chain of chemists, a special adviser to Cinven, the private equity company who own the BUPA hospitals and the senior independent director at BT Group who have also had lucrative contracts with the NHS. When Alan Milburn, another Labour Secretary of State for Health, left Office he took a consultancy with Bridgepoint Capital who has interests in Scanning services in the NHS and other companies offering private services to the NHS. Simon Stevens, who was Tony Blair’s special adviser in Health, is now Executive Vice President UnitedHealth Group a company that has taken over the running of an increasing number of General Practices in the UK, often against the wishes of local people.
“It is no surprise that both Labour and Tory policies for the NHS include offering more and more contracts to private companies when there is so much money to be made. Privatisation in the NHS started with the Tories and has got worse with Labour. Shropshire County Primary Care Trust has awarded NHS contracts for private companies to provide X-rays, scans and GP services. Unless the British people wake up soon there will be little left except a whole bunch of private companies, smiling shareholders and corrupt politicians.”
Background – see below