Socialist Worker

Tory NHS lies crumble within hours

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2674

nhs protest

Protest to defend the NHS in 2018


Tory lies over hospital building fell apart in less than 24 hours over the weekend.

Boris Johnson promised the “biggest hospital building programme in a generation” with £13 billion worth of funding for 40 new hospitals.

The plan quickly turned out to amount to £2.7 billion to refurbish six hospitals over the next five years.

The other 34 hospitals would only be completed in the second half of the next decade.

One of the six hospitals is Whipps Cross in north east London, where Johnson was confronted by an angry father last month.

Omar Salem, whose child was in hospital, told the prime minister, “The NHS has been destroyed and now you’ve come here for a press opportunity.”

The £13 billion of funding would be inadequate—even if it wasn’t just a promise for some time in the future.

The NHS Providers health bosses’ body called for more money to make up for “a decade of capital squeeze”.

It said the NHS’s capital spending of around £6 billion needed to double every year in the next decade.

Tory health secretary Matt Hancock said the building programme would be funded through public spending, not private finance initiatives (PFI).

PFI saw banks and building firms fund new hospitals—then rent them back to the NHS with huge interest payments.

The sham was introduced by the Tories but took off under Tony Blair’s Labour government.

While Labour has pledged to dump PFI, it would not cancel the existing ones.

This means hospitals will have paid £80 billion for infrastructure worth only £13 billion by 2050.

The NHS needs an injection of cash funded through taxing the rich. Existing PFI schemes should be scrapped without any compensation to the banks and corporations fleecing the NHS.


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