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Our NHS is already being sold off

Dr Sonia Adesara, a junior doctor and member of the Keep Our NHS Public campaign, argues the privatisation of services is already well down the track ready for a salivating US President.

I’m proud to work for the NHS, a socialised healthcare service where everyone is treated the same regardless of how much money they have.

Where native-born and migrant workers work side by side.

The values it embodies of kindness, universalism, and collectivism.

These values could not be further away from the ideology that Trump and this Conservative government represent.

During Trump’s last visit to the UK, I remember vividly him standing next to Theresa May and gleefully salivating over the prospect of buying up our NHS.

I was so angry and worried that I started to a petition calling on the government for legislation that would protect our NHS from a Trump trade deal.

The British public clearly shared my anger, as over a million people have now added their name.

And what would be the consequences of such a deal?

The poorest patients would be hurt the most. Those who rely on life-sustaining drugs could see the cost of their prescriptions skyrocket. The worst-case scenario means that people could die.

I cannot and will not stand idly by whilst our health service is used for profit, and the wellbeing of those that use it is put at risk.

Despite the repeated empty slogan that our NHS is ‘Not for sale’, it’s already being sold off.

The coalition government instilled marketisation with the 2012 Health and Social care act resulting in £15 billion of NHS budget transferred to the private sector over the past 5 years.

As many trade experts have confirmed, without legislation to explicitly protect our NHS and remove the market it will inevitably form part of a future deal.

Despite calls from opposition parties, the government has refused to support such legislation.

If the NHS was really ‘off the table’, why was it discussed during secret trade talks with the US?

Johnson’s defence that the word ‘NHS’ was only explicitly mentioned 4 times won’t wash given the word ‘health’ was mentioned 30 times, ‘medical’ 32 times and ‘drugs/pharma’ over 130 times!

A Tory government and a trade deal with Trump poses a grave risk to the future of our NHS, the values it embodies and the health of my patients.

As an NHS doctor, it is my duty to fight it.

  • Dr Sonia Adesara is a junior doctor and a member of Keep Our NHS Public


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