This is a copy of an email that I have sent to my MP, John Glen (Salisbury).
PRIVATE HEALTHCARE COMPANIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Dear Mr Glen
The government’s privitisation of the NHS is now up to full speed (despite them having no democratic mandate whatsoever) and huge sums of tax payers money, potentially unprecedented amounts, are being funnelled to the private sector. This must raise serious concerns about the potential for financial malpractice and corruption. This concern is fuelled by two issues in particular:
- The protection from freedom of information requests and the general lack of transparency (under the guise of commercial confidentially) allowed in contracts with the private sector, unlike the public sector where all contracts are open to public scrutiny.
- The revolving door between government advisers and ministers and the private sector, leaving scope for huge conflicts of interest issues and even ‘legalised’ corruption.
I am sure you will be as concerned as I am that the outsourcing of the NHS to international companies, many with a chequered track record, needs to be open to at least the same level of scrutiny as the public sector. With out this level of scrutiny, out sourcing of the NHS is likely to be the “next big scandal waiting to happen”.
In view of the above I ask you, as my MP, to support the Early day motion 773 PRIVATE HEALTHCARE COMPANIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION.
For your convenience I have pasted a copy of the motion below.
If you are unable to support this motion could you please let me know how you intend to pressure the government to ensure that the ‘next big scandal’ does not become reality.
How to follow the public money in a privatised NHS: Without basic financial transparency from public service contractors we can say goodbye to democratic accountability (Zoe Williams, The Guardian, Wednesday 9 January 2013)
Early day motion 773: PRIVATE HEALTHCARE COMPANIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
“That this House notes that the most significant development that has followed from the Government’s healthcare reforms has been the 7 billion pounds worth of new contracts being made available to the private health sector; further notes that at least five former advisers to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are now working for lobbying firms with private healthcare clients; recalls the Prime Minister’s own reported remarks prior to the general election when he described lobbying as `the next big scandal waiting to happen’; recognises the growing scandal of the procurement model that favours the private health sector over the NHS, by allowing private companies to hide behind commercial confidentiality and which compromises the best practice aspirations of the public sector; condemns the practice of revolving doors, whereby Government health advisers move to lucrative contracts in the private healthcare sector, especially at a time when the privatisation of the NHS is proceeding by stealth; is deeply concerned at the unfair advantages being handed to private healthcare companies; and demands that in future all private healthcare companies be subject to freedom of information requests under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in the same way as existing NHS public sector organisations.”