Socialist Worker

US private firm buys NHS GP services

Issue No. 2742

Private firms still want to profit out of NHS services

Private firms still want to profit out of NHS services (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Only a week ago most media slavishly parroted the Tories’ claim the era of NHS privatisation was “over”.

Ministers’ new plan for the health service would stop the routine outsourcing to multinationals, they said.

The message clearly didn’t reach Operose Health Ltd, the British wing of giant US private healthcare firm, the Centene Corporation.

It has just announced the purchase of AT Medics, one of the leading providers of GP and other primary care services in London.

Around 370,000 patients, and 900 staff, have suddenly found themselves in the grip of a US vulture firm that has long been circling the NHS in a hunt for profits.

AT Medics was owned by six GP directors until the takeover, and was part of the government’s flagship policy of “handing over control of the NHS to staff”. Now those directors are set to become multimillionaires.

According to The Lowdown website, the latest buy up is a further sign that Centene is taking “an expanding interest” in the British health “market”.

The firm’s website shows that it already has contracts to run 20 GP surgeries, plus an urgent treatment centre in Birmingham, and ten ophthalmology services and a dermatology clinic in Kent.

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