Privatising parts of the NHS can be “brilliant”, the Brexit Party’s NHS spokesperson has declared.
Speaking in an interview with party leader Nigel Farage, Dr David Bull, a Brexit Party MEP, MP candidate and medical doctor, said that private provision in the NHS can be a “brilliant” way of funding the service, which needs an urgent “redress”.
He said: “Private provision has always been in the NHS, certainly since Tony Blair. Sometimes it’s brilliant and other times it’s not.”
In the same interview, party leader Nigel Farage reiterated that, “those who can afford it should be encouraged to take out private insurance”.
He has in the past said that private health companies should “relieve the burden” on the NHS.
Last week, Scram News covered strikes occurring in three NHS hospitals due to outsourcing, described by trade union UNISON as “back-door privatisation” of the NHS.
Critics have pointed out that outsourcing means private companies can pay staff differently than NHS staff doing the same job, and can award them different rights.
Indeed, there are long-standing concerns that right-wing politicians are trying to bring about the privatisation of the health service. Recently, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was compelled to confirm that the NHS is not for sale, after concerns were raised that the government was negotiating a trade deal with US drug firms.
However, it’s unclear how this message will play out for Farage at the general election. After standing down all his candidates in Tory-held constituencies, the Brexit Party is going after the Labour Party in its Leave-voting heartlands. But with Labour being the most voracious defenders of the state-owned service, the Brexit Party’s policy is likely to alienate those previously considering a switch to Farage’s party.
In his chat with Farage, Bull added: “I have no problem with private provision,” claiming that “the NHS would collapse without that money,” and that people should be able to pay for a “nicer room” or “nicer lunch”.
Leave voters may wish to vote for the Brexit Party so that it delivers its founding purpose – Brexit. But they should know that a vote for Farage will mean more than Britain’s departure from the European Union. It will mean consent for them to pursue a host of dangerous policies, including climate change denial and immigrant-bashing.
And now, it looks like they want to shaft the country further and privatise the NHS.