Sell Off

October 8 @ 7:00 pm9:45 pm

Your NHS has been quietly transformed into a business ready for
corporate takeover and conversion to the American private insurance
model. In ‘Sell-Off’, filmmaker Peter Bach exposes the two decade covert
privatisation which has occurred without public mandate and against the
public interest.

Q&A and discussion with the people in the film:
and chair of the local action group

One thought on “Sell Off

  1. I’m still processing the film screening from last night. It was a shocking / depressing / enlightening and enervating talk by Doctors Bob Gill and Lucy Reynolds.

    It maybe no surprise to learn that the Conservatives want to privatise the NHS but the sheer scale of their ambition, the terrifying effects and the extent of the corruption and collaboration between big business and UK government over the last 25 years was truly shocking.

    Apart from being an incredibly important issue if we all want to survive our next illness or injury this is an amazing example of how fanatical free-market ideology is undermining the fabric of society and challenging basic humanity.

    Two things which really stick in my mind right now are:

    1) There is a very long term plan.
    “Privatising the World” is a book written by Oliver Letwin in 1988, in which he apparently lays out a strategy for privatising a national asset against the will of the population of a country. Lucy Reynolds outlined where we are up to in this process so far and made confident predictions about what will happen next. The strategy has been played by the book through Thatcher / Major / Blair governments and the same advisors and lawyers, connected to the big American private health firms have been present throughout. Perhaps unsurprisingly she also had a list of former health related ministers who now work for the private companies.

    The plan, which has been practiced successfully in scores of other countries around the world is – in very broad strokes – as follows.
    – Break up the single organisation (Tories ran it down and laid the foundations for change, Blair then enacted the plan in order to ‘Save’ it by bringing in foundation trusts)
    – Undermine the financial security of the new smaller organisation and introduce a competition element(PFI contracts at 11,000% interest takes care of the first objective, internal markets the second)
    – Discredit and close down public sector elements that cannot be reformed. (numerous examples of mergers and closures)
    – Persuade the public that the current system needs rescuing and then sell it off. (Now the Tories are back they can complete this final phase, the escalating PFI debts, huge costs of administering the internal markets and the cuts in funding mean that trusts will start to go under. Buyers are already lined up to save them)
    – Transfer debts to the public so that the sale can go ahead. (PFI debts, and other liabilities will be transferred away from the failing hospitals to central or local government so that we can pay them off while the new owners can make a ‘fair profit’)

    2) Dracula is in charge of the bloodbank
    The current Chief Executive of the NHS is Simon Stevens. He was previously president and chief executive of private healthcare insurance providers including UnitedHealth Group and United Health Group Europe – one of the biggest players in the bid to take over NHS contracts including all patient records. Under the new 2012 legislation the government is allowed to give him 1 (yes one) formal instruction per year.

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