Eastbourne’s Member of Parliament assured us that the NHS would never be on the negotiating table in the UK/American trade deal. But it was and we are now coping with the consequences. The NHS is worth billions of dollars so what does this mean for the British people?

I was looking into travel insurance yesterday as I am hoping to visit my son and his family in America. My son and I are British. I would never visit America without travel insurance because a quick foray into the cost of operations or just a visit to the doctors can cost me thousands of pounds. If I have a fall or am involved in a car accident the medical costs can be horrendous. We read of Americans forced to to choose between an operation and keeping their house. Why? Because an insurance company has refused an application for health cover or it has found a condition where it decides they are ineligible for the operation.

If then, as a Brit, I choose to reside in America I would definitely need health insurance. As an example of costs, CIGNA, Global Health Option, quotes me a minimum cover of £932.40 PER MONTH. The cost rises to £1,575.40 PER MONTH if I wish to include out-patients or be a day-patient. I am informed that there are exclusion costs, conditions and terms, such as pre-existing conditions. What would happen if after catching the Covid virus I have Long Covid? Clearly this is counted as a pre-existing condition and therefore excluded for health insurance cover.
This is a nightmare scenario for the time when the NHS is fully privatised which could be within five years. As a Health Analyst said, we are sleep-walking into a two-tier healthcare system. It’s alright for those who can afford health insurance but not so healthy for those who can’t. This is stage one of the plan to privatise the NHS. Already certain services are being withdrawn unless you pay for them e.g. blood tests, cataract operations etc.

This is the deal which the Government is pushing through Parliament right now. And, hard to believe, MPs are voting in favour of such a nightmare situation. Why would they agree to such an iniquitous system? Cynically I imagine it’s because some of them are shareholders in health companies or else because they can afford the cost of monthly insurance and private care… bought with  their high salaries (minimum £83,000.00 pa) and ludicrously exorbitant expenses ( Home Secretary’s £184,000.00 last year) – all paid with taxpayers’ money.
So have you questioned your MP for their reason for voting to sell off the NHS? I’m still waiting for a reply to my letter!

This is not fear-mongering – it is part of the seven year plan, introduced by Sir Simon Stevens who worked for America’s largest health insurance company before becoming Director of the NHS. But this sell-off started with Margaret Thatcher, and was carried on by Tony Blair and the Lib.Dems in the coalition. Two-thirds of the NHS has been sold already and is now in private hands. It will all be too late when the British people eventually wake-up and realise that the NHS has gone for ever.

And we owe it so much – we clapped for it because we value it. But it is worth so much more than one or two nights of applause – all NHS staff deserve a decent pay increase (which methinks won’t come close to £83,000.00).
Judy Thurlow
East Sussex Save the NHS Campaign
To join the campaign:
emails: http://eastsussexsavethenhs@wordpress.com