NHS news review

Conservative election poster 2010

A few recent news articles concerning the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.

News on NHS ‘was timed to be buried’ (From The Northern Echo)

AN MP from the region has attacked what he called the scandalous timing of a Government announcement that they would be opening up more NHS services to private competition.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s announcement that the Government will open up more than £1bn-worth of NHS services to competition from private companies and charities was timed to bury bad news because TV news was concentrating on the live broadcast of Rupert Murdoch.

In the first wave, beginning next April, eight NHS areas – including musculo-skeletal services for back pain, adult hearing services in the community, wheelchair services for children and primary care psychological therapies for adults – will be open for what Mr Lansley said was competition on quality not price.

Mr Blenkinsop said: “To choose yesterday of all days to announce this is nothing short of scandalous. On any other day, this announcement would be the lead item and would be, rightly, viewed as highly contentious and very disturbing news.”

But the news was welcomed by Shaun Fryer, managing director of the private Newcastle Clinic, who said the Government’s call for changes cannot come soon enough.

Related: Letters: NHS privatisation is slipping under the radar | Society | The Guardian

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