Weds 22 October 2008
Extend in-house pledges to community health centres - UNISON comments
on private GP surgery ban
UNISON, Scotland's healthcare union today welcomed the Scottish
Government's announcement that commercial firms are to be banned
from running GP surgeries, but called for this to be extended to
other community health facilities like health centres.
The union also condemned the criticisms of the CBI and Tories,
as trying to return to the privatising agenda of the Thatcher government.
John Gallacher, Secretary of UNISON's Scottish Health Group, said
"We entirely agree with the plans to ban commercial companies from
seeking a profit from our healthcare, and the announcement stopping
outsourcing of cleaning and catering in the NHS. We call on the
government to take the logical next step, and withdraw the Scottish
Futures Trust proposals, which not only seeks to extend PFI and
PPP, but also introduces a model (called a 'Hub') that allows private
firms to run health centres and similar community-based health facilities."
Dave Watson, UNISON's Scottish Organiser said "Whilst this may
mean a traditional practice might operate within a privatised hub,
we would ask the Government how the running of a privatised health
centre would be by anyone other than private employees?"
The union strongly attacked the statements from the CBI and the
Tories. Dave Watson said "At a time when the flaws of the world's
private businesses are being laid out for all to see, it is deeply
worrying that the Tories and the CBI want to expose our public services
to these same risks. The glorification of the market economy so
loved by Mrs Thatcher, led to the current economic crisis - the
last thing we need is to hand over our public services to the same
Notice for editors: The Strategic Business case published
for the Scottish Futures Trust proposes that it should promote full
blown PPP in a number of ways, including the hub initiative, based
on English Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) PPPs to build
new local health centre premises and other community facilities.
For further information please contact: Dave Watson, Scottish
Organiser 07958 122 409 (m) John Gallacher, Regional organiser 07904
342 426(m) Chris Bartter, Communications Officer 07715 583 729(m)