In recent months, we’ve all become familiar with Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health (and Social Care). I’m sure we all have our own views on his performance during the pandemic. However, less has been heard of Simon Stevens (former Senior Health Policy
Advisor to Tony Blair), who actually runs our NHS on a day-to-day basis. Since 2012, our own government has not been legally obliged to provide us with Universal healthcare.
UnitedHealth Group is a massive American health insurance company, and Stevens used to be their Head of Global Expansion. In 2014 he was appointed CEO in charge of NHS England. He has overseen the restructuring of our healthcare systems in this country to resemble the insurance-based system of the U.S. His original Five Year Forward View did plenty of damage. He was knighted in this year’s New Year’s Honours list. Then came Covid-19.
They say never waste a crisis, and Mr Stevens certainly hasn’t. In a recent interview he said of the coronavirus that it’s “driving a lot of changes that may turn out to be very desirable changes, so there will be a silver lining to this very difficult set of circumstances.” The pandemic has given him the opportunity to allow many private companies to make money from the NHS under the cover of helping out. The acceleration of telemedicine and the bailing out of private hospitals by buying up their bed capacity have been part of this. Now there are plans to restrict patients’ access to another 31 treatments/ procedures, to add to the 17 procedures restricted last year.
It’s precisely because our health service has been underfunded, riddled with private interests, burdened with unnecessary layers of management, sold off, shrunk, and lost experienced staff who’ve been pressured out, that we now find ourselves struggling to cope. A great first step to recovery would be to insist that UnitedHealth leaves our country, and to shame Simon Stevens for the appalling disservice he’s done to our beloved NHS.
(Simon Stevens has overseen the restructuring of our healthcare systems in this country to resemble the insurance-based system of the USA)
(A great first step to recovery would be to insist that UnitedHealth leaves our country)
Colin Crilly / South London NHS campaigner
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us