A leading academic has launched a scathing attack on the NHS, claiming it is now under the control of private companies who are maximising profits at patients’ expense.
Allyson Pollock, a professor of public health policy at Queen Mary University of London, yesterday spoke out about the state of the NHS in England and Wales, claiming it was in “chaos”.
During an interview on BBC Radio Scotland, she blasted: “England has actually abolished its National Health Service. It is now just reduced to a funding stream and a logo and it is going hell for leather for the marketplace.
“This is causing enormous chaos south of the Border with decreasing access and entitlement.”
Prof Pollock, who founded and previously directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh, claims the drive for privatisation means patients no longer have a right to basic treatment.
She said: “Increasingly, people are not even getting access to their GP services down to the basics. They are not getting elective surgery south of the Border … because there is no longer a duty to secure and provide.”
But she claimed Scotland’s devolved health service is in better shape and politicians have an opportunity to shore up their NHS, if they are willing to make “brave” cash-saving decisions such as scrapping the breast cancer screening programme.
She warned the Scotland would not escape the savage NHS cuts that are happening in England, because the Barnett Formula which sets the proportion of cash Scotland is due from Westminster also means Scots will have to take a share of the pain.
She added: “One of the problems is that anything that’s happening in England has a knock-on effect in Scotland. So the fact England is committed to taking £20bn to £30bn out of its NHS over the next five years, enacting a real decrease in spending, means that Scotland is going to be affected through the Barnett Formula.”