Labour MEP for the North East, Jude Kirton Darling, has been accused of rank hypocrisy by the region’s UKIP MEP, Jonathan Arnott, following claims made by the politician which stated how the proposed EU-US (TTIP) trade deal could lead the NHS open to privatisation.
Arnott said “The proposed TTIP deal is certainly dangerous, not just because of the impact on the NHS, but also because of the potential for national governments to be sued by big business.
“For years we have seen privatisation creep through the back door of our health service which has had a devastating effect in many of our hospitals. Staff have been put under increasing amounts of pressure, services have been left stretched, and across the country NHS trusts have plunged into the red.
“Of course it’s great to see Jude Kirton Darling now recognises the problems with TTIP, but doesn’t she think it’s a tad hypocritical for her to moan about stealth privatisation of the NHS, when it’s her party that part privatised the NHS with PFI contracts?
A report published by the British Medical Journal highlights of the 135 new NHS hospitals constructed between 1997 and 2009, 101 were financed through PFI, accounting for about 90% of the £12.2bn committed to building programmes.
Arnott added “Labour’s record on the NHS has been abysmal. It’s high time we took managers out the back offices, put more nurses and doctors on the frontline, and stopped taking out wasteful PFI contracts which will tie a noose around the neck of our health service for years to come”.