Independent News from Alternative Sources
Lobby groups are taking measures to put the pressure on and raise the alarm to stop the private company Virgin group from interfering with the National Health Service.
A new campaign led by the organisation National Boycott, is being launched online against this company investing in the NHS in the UK.
The campaign is called “Boycott all Virgin products until they stop buying up the NHS”, and this time, it aims to educate citizens not to buy any Virgin products.
They also ask people to change their phone company and Internet provider so as not to promote growth and to show that citizens refuse to have Virgin participate in their health services.
Although until recently the hiring of private companies was limited to participation in certain services, none have taken over an entire hospital.
In this model of an open health market, many companies have found a new form of investment. This is the case for private companies including Circle or Serco.
After the amount of cuts that have taken place in the past year, several companies are investing in parts of the NHS.
Among them is the Virgin Group company, run in part by Richard Branson, which in 2012 signed a £500 million contract to run a variety of services in Surrey.
In 2013 they signed a £132 million contract to run services in the County of Devon, including mental health, nurse schooling, health visits and care for the disabled.
A month later they announced a £6.6 million contract to run health care within the HM Prison Bullingdon in Oxfordshire. Its expansion has continued ever since.
There have been a number of unions and health workers who have risen up against these intrusions claiming that “private sector companies do not know how hospital intensive care, maternity and emergency services work.”
The large number of cuts and privatisation of services, has led many hospitals to reduce staff and quality of treatments. Official figures show that the number of cases of negligence have increased in the last year, and are up 80% since 2008.
Photo by John Winfield.
The issue of health services to foreigners is also up for debate. The aim is to take a series of measures to recover the money spent on treating patients from outside the EU.
Those from outside Europe, whether students or workers, staying for more than six months in the country, will have to pay a new fee.
A number of campaigns have been organised since the NHS began its privatisation: petitions, street protests and repeated boycotts of investing companies.
All this against the extreme measures taken by the Government and to defend the quality of public health.