The Future of the NHS under a Tory government

Prior to 2010 David Cameron repeatedly promised voters there would be “no top-down reorganisation of the NHS”

see New Statesman article 13 Nov 2013

Once in government, what followed was the biggest   reorganisation of the NHS ever – one described as disastrous by the Kings Fund. In its words “the coalition government’s changes had wasted three years, failed patients, caused financial distress and left a strategic vacuum” BBC article

In 2019 Boris Johnson has repeatedly promised voters that  “under no circumstances will we agree to any free-trade deal that puts the NHS on the table. It is not for sale.”

But the official documents  on trade talks between the UK and USA obtained by the Labour party indicate otherwise!

They show that:  

  • between July 2017 and July this year, trade talks between the UK and US have covered the NHS, drug pricing and patents, the pharmaceutical industry and medical devices, in the context of the future trade landscape between the two countries
  • the Trump administration and US pharmaceutical interests want “full market access for US drugs”. This means the British government must dismantle the safeguards that protect the NHS from paying high prices for drugs. 
  • US officials also want longer patents for American drugs, which would boost their maker’s profits and limit the NHS’s scope to buy much cheaper generic versions.

taken from Guardian article 27 Nov 2019

Drugs in America cost two and a half times what they cost in the UK.

This will eat significantly into the NHS budget at a time when the government has just announced sweeping measures to ration 34 everyday tests and treatments that will affect millions of people: from an X-ray on their sore back, hernia repair surgery or scan of their knee to detect arthritis.  see Guardian article

It is not clear what has been agreed to by the UK government  in talks with their american counterparts, but talks are apparently at an advanced stage. See the Full Fact website.

However one thing is clear:

When it comes to the NHS the track record of the Conservatives is one of broken promises, gross mismanagement and downright lies!

By limiting NHS healthcare because of ever more costly treatments -including drug costs – people will either be forced to pay through the nose for private healthcare or abandon themselves to painful, shorter lives. And it is privatised healthcare in place of a publicly funded NHS that is the ultimate aim of a Tory government. It always has been!

In the brave new world of ‘Get Brexit done!’ there is no future for the NHS under a Tory government.


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