Dorian Kelly on why the the NHS must not pass into foreign hands

THERE have been a large number of angry requests to our MP, Will Quince, to justify the reasons why he and the Conservative Party refused to vote for safety-net legislation which would have ensured that the NHS was not compromised by any future trade deal and prevent foreign investors from suing the Government if they take any measures, such as drug price controls, which harm their profits.

His disingenuous reply that it was unnecessary because the NHS is not for sale shows that the Government, for reasons that are all too clear, are relying on the confusion in the mind of the British public about the difference between the conceptual NHS - i.e. the provision of comprehensive acute services free of charge at the point of delivery - and the practical delivery mechanism NHS, which is a fundamentally a market-driven privately-supplied system which can allocate contracts in the private sector as it chooses.

Thanks to NHS reforms, the Department of Health has little say over how it operates in detail. All it can do is suggest changes.

What is not on the table in the US trade talks is the conceptual NHS.

So when our MP says that the NHS is not for sale, it is to that he refers?

What is definitely on the table are all the contracts for supply of services, which include buildings, pharmaceuticals, treatment services, ancillaries services, such as X ray and imaging, therapies, electives and virtually everything that makes the NHS work.

READ MORE >>>> MP: ‘NHS will never be for sale’

It will also include access to and operation of any future insurance-based systems.

We know that these are on the table because it was very clear from the leaked documents, that the US negotiators have insisted that without this being on the table there can be no agreement.

Also on the table is access to UK food markets.

It has been made very clear from a number of statements and documents provided by the American authorities that they will not run two systems of supply side by side.

In other words if we want their stuff - which we patently will require as no one else apart from the EU can provide the volume - we can have it, but on their terms and at their prices.

It’s obvious the Government are in fact pinning their hopes on this confusion in the mind of the British public.

However, I think you’ll find that we are not actually that easily fooled when it comes to our cherished institutions.

As far as we’re concerned, the “NHS” consists of the concept AND the delivery system.

Not for sale?

So much of it has been sold already: Enough is enough and we are not going to allow this, which once was the envy of the world to go into foreign hands and be reduced to just another profit centre.