Notes on an interview with Dr Bob Gill

NHS doctor Bob Gill was recently interviewed by George Galloway on Sputnik RT, in an episode called The Great NHS Heist. The doctor had striking revelations about plans to privatise the NHS. Dr. Gill described his own dealings with the government-created board Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs, look up their site/’mission statement), clinically led statutory bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local areas. They are a mixture of GPs, nurses and local lay members; it appears Dr. Gill, who was also a GP “trainer”, was invited to his local CCG, in what apparently turned out to be a nasty experience.

Dr. Gill claimed he was asked whether was prepared to LIE, asked to “makeup” interviews, suppress dissent, ignore complaints, bully whistleblowers and other unpleasant behaviours.

He said that the CCG`s are controlled and subsidiary to NHS England and that Simon Stevens is actually the Chief  Executive of that body i.e he/they are the ones that create the whole “attitude” dished out by the CCGs.

This GP is exposing the continued privatisation of the NHS, started under Margaret Thatcher and carried on by Blair where expensive PFIs (Private Finance Initiative) meant that NHS assets passed into private hands.

The big plan is to “pee off” the staff and thus the patients: frustration equals poor service, and the middle class will increasingly go private. According to Dr. Gill, systematic complex deception in downgrading the NHS has spanned at least two decades and maybe longer.

He claimed that this was part of a long-term plan, and while this is the first time I personally have heard details like this on TV, many of us heard NHS privatisation briefly discussed (remember accusations that UKIP supported the policy?) during the Brexit campaign. I personally heard it from a lady who said she worked for charity organisations within Brussels and had laid the plan for privatisation firmly at the door of Simon Stevens, head of the NHS.

Debates regarding health services to the overweight and smokers, as well as blaming the elderly and high immigration numbers only distracts from the real issue: the slow but inexorable agenda of privatisation. Schemes such as those that look at “unsustainable providers” are nothing more than a plot to sell off what is publically owned, to replace it with insurers in the mode of American style insurance providers like United Healthcare Global.

The goal of “integration” between the public and private in truth seeks to integrate the two sectors’ budgets so that the whole can eventually be handed over to the private sector. Meanwhile, according to Dr. Gill, Health Minister Jeremy Hunt is nothing more than a distracting frontman – he is set up as the bad guy, when in fact it is NHS chief Simon Stevens who is the “most dangerous man in public service”, obviously meaning to convey that he intends to hand NHS over to the private sector.

Stevens previously worked for United Healthcare, one of the biggest private insurers for healthcare in America, and while he was there, he campaigned against Obamacare and then went on to support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The much-debated TTIP scheme, if it comes about, is a corporate power grab for all public services. Stevens also published a 5 Year Plan in 2014, which Dr. Gill analysed, involving denationalisation, hospital closures, patient charges, and putting health services into the hands of 4 big accounting firms (including KPMG) among other consequences.

Mentioning the handling of the recent junior doctor payment dispute, Gill says the situation was completely contrived; there never was a “negotiation”, the new contract was always an imposition, and there was never any new money. The ultimate goal was to break the “broken hours” payment system, so the released assets could then be sweated, and when the private companies take over they will be able to abuse a docile staff. On achieving take-over, they will then be in a position to push out the junior doctors and employ a new lower paid workforce; the new entrants will be less qualified, and so the standard of care is downgraded.

We have already seen the removal of medical leadership with a toxic management structure, who follow political diktats and corporate objectives and not what is necessary for patients. Professor David Whyte’s Book “How Corrupt is Britain” outlines the deliberate infestation of service by people who prioritise their own personal career progression over ethics or patient need. An increased focus on management, in fact, takes attention away from patient care as medical autonomy is removed from delivery of care. In practice what these staff are doing is data mining for the insurance industry.

The reason that Jeremy Corbyn, who one might expect to oppose a TTIP scheme, is comparatively silent on this matter is that the shadow Labour Health spokesperson Heidi Alexander (old Blair supporter) came up with the narrative that fitted into privatisation she expressed support for Simon Stevens.

One final thought of mine: If we achieve Brexit and make new trade deals with the USA, will we be open to accepting the toxic parts of TTIP, particularly corporate bypassing Britain’s laws and settling disputes in some sort of tribunal staffed by their chosen bodies?

Dr. Gill projected that the next stage in the process was to introduce patient charges at the point of use, so you know what to look out for soon. In the meantime, you can watch the interview yourself: