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Can We Trust Boris on NHS? A special column by Dr Kailash Chand

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Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike

Why would you believe he is telling truth about NHS? Mr Johnson is promising to build 40 new hospitals!  6000 more GPs and 50,000 nurses! Is there any nurse tree like a money tree? Who crippled our NHS? Who initiated the outsourcing of the services and the entire NHS is on table now for a trade deal with the US …. Dr Kailash Chand, former vice chair of the BMA and one of the senior most GPs in the country explores for Asian Lite News

UNITED NATIONS, July 22, 2016 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson speaks to the press at the United Nations headquarters in New York, July 22, 2016. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, promising "there's a deal to be done" on balancing freedom of movement and trade with members of the European Union, said here Friday the United Kingdom (UK) was going to "be more visible, more active more energetic that ever before" on the international stage. (Xinhua/Li Muzi/IANS)
Boris Johnson (Xinhua/Li Muzi/IANS)

I have watched six prime ministers since I came to UK in 1978, and have never encountered a Prime Minister who lies and fabricates so regularly, so shamelessly and systematically as Boris Johnson. In his political journey he has lied to,anybody you could think of, starting from:

The Queen

His Newspaper Boss

His Party Leader

His Wife

The G7 Summit

TV Interviewers

The Business Confederation

His Lover

Houses of Parliament

His Party Conference

The United Nations

Why would you believe he is telling truth about NHS? Mr Johnson is promising to build 40 new hospitals!  6000 more GPs and 50,000 nurses! Is there any nurse tree like a money tree? Who crippled our NHS? Who initiated the outsourcing of the services and the entire NHS is on table now for a trade deal with the US?

The Boris and his team are offering record NHS funding. But Mr Johnson as an insider I can tell you this £34 billion is not enough to catch up with the huge funding hole created by the Tories in the last nine years.

What we do know is, since the birth of the NHS in 1948, up to 2018, the NHS managed with an historic average of 4% funding-uplift, a year. Since 2018/19 it’s been hovering around 1%. That created the mess we are in.

The promises are plain lies. The problem lies in the DNA of the Tories. For them, the National Health Service is not for treating patients, but creating profit for the cronies. The Tory ‘reforms’ of the NHS since they came to power in 2010 not only repealed society’s contract with the health service and the government’s duty to provide fit-for-purpose healthcare – they put the NHS on the chopping block to be sold in pieces to private corporations. If you want an example of “post-truth” politics just listen to every single pronouncement on the NHS that Boris Johnson has made since he became Prime Minister.

There are three key problems with private health firms running our NHS.

Junior doctors working with the NHS on strike in London (File)

First, there is no room in the budget for the profit they wish to make. Virgin says it wants to make 8% profit on the NHS services they provide. At that rate, if the private sector won the £20bn of services tendered by them, it would be equivalent of £1.6bn of that taxpayers’ money being set aside for dividends to Private Healthcare’s shareholders.

Second, privately-provide does not mean better care. Every single private health firm has had shortcomings identified by the Care Quality Commission when they inspected their premises. Worries have included poor staffing levels as well as poor and unsafe care for patients.

Tories had nine years to fix the NHS but what they have delivered is nothing short of ‘car crash’ !

All my life I have campaigned that it is a fundamental right to receive free healthcare at the point-of-need for all Britons. This right exists in this country regardless of your age, health, wealth, race and gender. But I think the views and policies of Boris Johnson are a threat to that concept. There is so much about Johnson that appals me – racism, lies, misogyny

The NHS is now 100,000 short of staff on your watch.  Tories said they would recruit more GPs last time, but we actually now have fewer.  They promised 40 ‘new’ hospitals that turned out to be 6 upgraded ones!  After nine years experiencing this government run our NHS into the ground, I can’t possibly believe Boris Johnson’s manifesto spin now. And my NHS patients deserve so much better. What actually is delivered is a catastrophic shortfall of 42,000 nurses.  Plus 10,000 missing doctors.

An understaffing crisis that’s lethal for patients. And with a track record like that, why would anyone trust Boris Johnson now?

Lastly, private firms reserve the right to restrict treatments. Some private firms who have won contracts to provide musculoskeletal services have restricted patients’ entitlement to just six sessions – before asking them to pay for further treatment.

All my life I have campaigned that it is a fundamental right to receive free healthcare at the point-of-need for all Britons. This right exists in this country regardless of your age, health, wealth, race and gender. But I think the views and policies of Boris Johnson are a threat to that concept. There is so much about Johnson that appals me – racism, lies, misogyny.

So the big question to vote in the next election is to support the Tories to kill the NHS or a vote for the Labour to protect it from the moneybags in the US for the welfare of our future generation. With minimal resources and a crippled system, my colleagues are struggling to provide essential services to the millions of British citizens. We have to change the system and I can’t trust Boris on this. I am sure the British electorate are wise enough to take the right decision.

 

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