Foundation hospitals will kill the NHS, by A. Pollock

Foundation hospitals will kill the NHS
Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric: this is about privatisation

Allyson Pollock
Wednesday May 7, 2003
The Guardian

At its launch, Alan Milburn described the foundation hospitals bill as “true to our traditions of solidarity, community and fairness”. The Labour party chairman, Ian McCartney, even called it leftwing. But this did not satisfy Labour stalwarts: 130 backbench Labour MPs signed a motion opposing the bill because of fears about privatisation, an anxiety echoed by many outside parliament, including the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing.

So now the media are being fed another story. The foundation proposal, we are being told, is only rhetoric; in reality, the reform changes nothing very much. Foundation hospitals will not be businesses but not-for-profit “mutuals”, NHS pay rates will apply and private practice will be capped. New Labour is simply tweaking some hoary NHS institutions while spinning the changes to undermine the Conservatives.

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