ON the privatisation of out of hours services for patients in Gloucestershire.

Posted by MoreSilentMajority: All those strikes and pay rises by hospital physicians took a big chunk out of the budget.

Posted by JulianCBrown: One more step on the road to privatisation and a two-tier health service that the rich will be able to afford but which will mean that those less well off will be denied treatment. Let’s go back to the principles on which the NHS was founded just after the war.

Posted by Clams: How are Labour getting on running the NHS in Wales? Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by Salendine: Is there any evidence of a two tier system or is this just about the nature of the provision of the service? Personally I don’t care about who provides the service, just that it is a quality service and affordable.

Posted by Mary Taylor: The worry isn’t simply about privatisation. This isn’t a private vs public argument from James Beecher. It’s the waste of money, two lots of tendering - that money could have been invested into the service as run by the ambulance trust to improve what we already had. Every new contract costs millions to various companies and NHS trusts in bidding for or trying to retain a service and in setting up afresh each time. Not to mention the money hived off to shareholders. The simple fact is that the cost of the system within the NHS that is there solely to enable these wasteful market processes is costing £billions a year that could have been improving services directly.

As for comments on pay-rises, they have not happened for NHS medics for many years, you should not assume the one or two cases highlighted by the tabloid media are the norm. And club memberships are nothing to do with NHS trusts - what private companies running services under the NHS logo do is not something for public scrutiny as they are private companies and do not have to disclose anything to the public Posted by JulianCBrown: Privatisation of public services has proved to be a failure. Take a look at G4S who are supposed to be running many of our prisons. Take look at Maximus who took over from Atos in deciding which benefit claimants are fit for work. Abject failure. Our social structure is being sold off to private companies many of which are foreign owned. We, the taxpayers, own the NHS. It is not the Government’s to sell off.