LETTER: Protect the NHS

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Your letters

It is an extremely good thing that the West Sussex NHS Coastal Commissioning Group now has the contract for providing local orthopaedic services (Herald, July 2).

The outrageous thing is that there had to be a fight over this and that they had to bid against private medical contractors under the new NHS legislation passed by the previous Cameron government.

This new legislation was passed on the basis that the NHS was in financial difficulties, but none of us know whether this is true or not.

All we know about NHS finances is what we are told by politician and their appointees and, bearing in mind the track record of governments, whether left or right, when it comes to truthful facts, any pronouncements on the state of NHS funding should be treated with the greatest reservation.

What we do know is that private health contractors, under the new legislation, are now able to bid against our own NHS institutions for lucrative health contracts, and that the awarding of these contracts is carried out by bodies appointed by the government.

Most of the major health contractors, on both sides of the Atlantic, are ultimately owned by private equity capital individuals, who have a massive influence on both politicians and the national media.

When we examine the new health service legislation, as was drafted, and combine that with the ferocious anti-NHS campaign in all branches of the national media, that coincidentally started up at the same time, we do see a pattern emerging.

It is now up to all of us to act if we see any local health department under threat, whether it be a maternity unit, a surgery, an eye clinic or an entire hospital.

Remember it is our NHS that is under threat and we cannot trust any government to stop it.

John Clark

North Street

Shoreham

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