The Independent London Newspaper
24th May 2017

Camden medics stand for election on anti-privatisation ticket

    Dr Alex Ashman and Kathryn Anderson are standing for election
    Dr Alex Ashman and Kathryn Anderson are standing for election
     
    Published: 29 April, 2014
    By TOM FOOT
     

    A NURSE from the Royal Free and a doctor from University College London are running for election on an anti-privatisation ticket.

    Kathryn Anderson, a registered nurse for 35 years, and Dr Alex Ashman are contesting the London Region for the National Health Action Party in next month’s European Parliament elections.

    Ms Anderson worked for the NHS from 1998 and 2001, before returning to the Hampstead NHS Trust last June to notice a “big change”.

    She said: “It is estimated that around 6,000 nursing posts have been removed from the NHS and so many of my colleagues are frustrated at these changes and feel helpless in stopping them.”

    Former Independent MP for Wyre Forest, 

    Dr Richard Taylor, and cancer specialist and chairman of the NHS Consultants’ Association Dr Clive Peedell were among a group of health workers who set up the party in 2012. 

    It was triggered by former health secretary Andrew Lansley’s reforms which smashed the NHS up into little profit parcels and offered them up to “any willing provider”.

    Statistics show that in the past year 70 per cent of new NHS contracts have been awarded to private companies – one was worth £1.2billion.

    Dr Ashman, who is currently training to be a surgeon, did his six-year medical training at UCL in Gower Street, Bloomsbury, and has worked in NHS hospitals as a junior doctor for the past four years.

    He said: “I’ve seen first-hand the rationing of surgical procedures and the cherry-picking of easy cases by privately owned treatment centres, both of which harm surgical training and future patient care. 

    “I’m worried that further privatisation of the NHS by the coalition government will make things worse still, and that an impending EU-US Trade Deal will lock in this privatisation, making it impossible to reverse the damage.”

    The deal – also know as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – is a complex new issue that is likely to become a thorny topic in the NHS. It essentially allows American health giants to bid for NHS contracts from across the Atlantic. 

    Previously, big firms had to set up UK arms – like UnitedHealth, when it took over three Camden surgeries in 2008. Camden has already seen how local GP groups have lost out to big money companies.

    The National Health Action Party is standing against the “massive understaffing of doctors and nurses, harmful rationing of care and the NHS 111 shambles”. 

    Dr Ashman said: “NHS is such an important and relevant issue at the European elections. Londoners should use their vote to stick up for the NHS.”

    The European election is on May 22, the same day as the local elections.

     

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