NHS patients in Surrey to be treated by rail company in £500m deal
Thousands of patients are to be cared for by Virgin Trains after Richard Branson’s company finalised the biggest outsourcing deal yet for running day-to-day NHS services.
The railway company has signed a £500 million, five-year contract to run a wide variety of community health services in Surrey and has promised wards with standing room only, delayed operations and exorbitantly priced season tickets for the county’s patients.
A sister company, Virgin Airlines, will provide end-of-life care – as well as providing air hostesses to replace health visitors for parents with young babies. Virgin Megastores is set to take over breast cancer screening, sexual health clinics, specialist dental work, physiotherapy and rehabilitation of hospital radio services.
However, critics claim that if Virgin Train’s previous takeovers of public services are anything to go by, sick and dying patients face paying hundreds of pounds for season tickets for the use of hospital services and having to spend large parts of their stay in hospital standing crushed up against other sick and dying patients.
Transport Secretary – the sick and dying must share the pain
In an interview with BBC News, the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening explained why sick and dying patients should not expect to avoid some of the consequences of the reductions in public spending:
We have a huge fiscal deficit to deal with, we have to get to grips with this problem, we’re all in it together, so we’re all going to have to share in the pain, including people who are sick or dying, in order to help struggling multinational corporations like Virgin continue to make megaloads of cash.
I wish I could say Virgin set to win a contract for running NHS Services was satire, but it’s not – as you will see if you click the link in the article above.
Virgin are also set to take over children’s health services in Devon, a contract which will include looking after terminally ill children.
For information about how disastrous the privatisation of railways in the UK has been, see this article here:
Unfortunately, we are about to see the same thing happen to our children’s and our own health services too.
This is not just immoral and wrong.
This is madness.
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