| THE PLOT AGAINST THE NHS|
by Colin Leys & Stewart Player
'indispensable ...' Richard Horton, The Guardian
... contains a wealth of valuable information, with facts, dates, and names that are vital to all those fighting to save our national health service from privatisation.' John Lister, BMJ
What will Mr Lansley's new health care market mean for patients? Is there really no alternative? Do the coalition government's plans for the NHS really mean a big change of policy? Or do they just bring into the open what New Labour was already doing? This book shows what has really been going on:
The plot: For ten years a 'policy community' around the Department of Health has schemed to replace the NHS. They want a US-style health-care market coming in by the back door. Why tell us, or parliament?
The template: Listen to Kaiser Permanente - the US health insurance company. Expand its influence in the Department of Health. Make the American market the model.
The players: the insiders: the 'policy community', corporate heavies, management consultants, think-tankers, freelancers and hired hands, including some academics and doctors. They can use the 'revolving door': company envoys can get jobs in the Department of Health, and ex-ministers and officials can get well paid jobs in the private sector.
How? Make more openings for the private sector at every stage of 'reform'. Start 'pilot schemes' but don't evaluate them, have them 'rolled out' across the country. Buy off critics, or (if that fails) ridicule them. Terrorise the NHS workforce, divide and rule. Spin, Spin, SPIN
Who pays? Patients and doctors tell us: 'reforms' are driving up costs, services are being cut, and quality is falling - unless you can pay to go private. This is the shape of things to come.
Who profits? the private health industry takes over NHS hospitals, runs GPs practices: their interest, profit, will subordinate the public interest.
Colin Leys is an emeritus professor at Queen's University Canada and an honorary professor at Goldsmiths College London. His most recent books are The Rise and Fall of Development Theory, Market-Driven Politics, and Total Capitalism. He has been studying and writing about the NHS since the late 1990s.
Stewart Player is a public policy analyst with extensive experience of studying the NHS. He is the co-author with Colin Leys of Confuse and Conceal: The NHS and Independent Treatment Centres, and author or co-author of numerous articles on the NHS.
179 pages paperback
Published April 2011