Universal Healthcare and Privatization / by Edna Bonhomme

In recent months, universal healthcare has become a central issue in US democratic debates with some US candidates calling for Medicare for All. In Britain, the future of the National Health Service (NHS) is up for debate with concerns about access and funding in light of Brexit’s forthcoming. While plans are still under negotiation, the Guardian recently published an article highlight that future privatisation would restricted. According to them, section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 will be removed which would lead to preventing the transfer of Public Contracts Regulations 2015. In recent years, the Health and Social Care Act has been contested.

One site of contention for the NHS is how the program relates to migrants, which in recent years has been linked to surveillance and reporting to the Home Office. The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 made it permissible for the NHS to transfer migration information to the Home Office, with part 5 indicating that the NHS had the right |to advise and provide information to the secretary of state, the NHS commissioning board, Monitor, or local authorities on the experiences of service users. This is particularly relevant because it paved the way for undocumented migrants, Black, and other ethnic minorities to have their data collected and circulated to other branches of the state. After a public outcry, the NHS suspended its program to share information about immigrants to the Home Office.

 

The NHS should not be a dilapidated relic, that spies on migrants or extends private contracts to corporations. Rather, it should cast itself in the image that it once was, a public service to all.