Tory Health Secretary Andrew Lansley visited Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons on the 9th February to bolster support for his NHS reforms. Instead he found out just what people think of his privatisation plans as protestors surrounded the building, making him 2 hours late for a press conference at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
The Con-Dem Government’s plans to open the NHS up to competition from the private sector represent the biggest threat that public healthcare has faced since the NHS was founded 63 years ago. Andrew Lansley’s plans will see GPs put in charge of local NHS budgets with a new Competition Commission to ensure that low cost private companies get priority in delivering services.
Doctors, nurses and patient’s organisations have opposed Lansley’s plans and as he spoke in front of the Royal College of Surgeons protestors surrounded the building, closing all the exits. After a two hour stand-off and negotiations between police and demonstrators the health secretary was allowed to leave via a back door to shouts of ‘SCUM!’ as police held back protestors.
Andrew Lansley has come under increasing scrutiny after revelations that he received a donation of £21,000 from Care UK, a private healthcare company that stands to gain from his NHS reforms. One Tory insider commented on his handling of the affair “he should be taken out and shot”, a policy they may have more chance of building consensus on.
See video here.