Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the NHS to not be privatised, arguing that it is not “a good use of money” to put the country’s health system under the control of private companies.
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Corbyn said it was important to have a national health service in which the public’s best interests were protected.
“We need to protect and maintain our NHS,” he said.
“And if the private sector can do that, why not let the NHS do that?”
The Labour leader said the public “really don’t want the NHS privatised”.
“What we want to see is a national service that is fully funded and protected and maintained by a national government,” he added.
The Labour party leader has called on the Government to use the public purse to fund the NHS, rather than the private market. “
There should be no privatisation of the NHS.”
The Labour party leader has called on the Government to use the public purse to fund the NHS, rather than the private market.
“Why do you want to have it run by the private enterprise?” he asked.
“Because they are more efficient.”
NHS privatisation has been under consideration since the NHS Act 2015, which set out the conditions for the Government’s commitment to a “full-featured, fully publicly-funded national health system”.
Under the act, the Government could sell off some or all of the private health companies in the private healthcare sector, with the proceeds going to the National Health Service (NHS).
But Mr Corbyn’s comments follow a letter written by his shadow health minister, Angela Eagle, in which she argued that the public should not be paying for private companies to run NHS services.
The letter argued that public money should not “be used to subsidise the private activities of the most powerful and powerful people in the world, and it should be used to fund NHS services in a public sector in which all patients and the public benefit from the care and provision of our national health services”.
“The public should only be paying to provide the care that it needs, including for the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities,” Ms Eagle wrote.
The Labour Party has previously supported privatisation, with its deputy leader, Tom Watson, recently saying that the party would consider introducing a National Health Budget that would fund a national system of “full and publicly funded private healthcare”.
“If it’s the case that people are looking for a more comprehensive approach, and they’re not being paid for it by the taxpayer, then I think that’s something that I would consider,” Mr Watson said.
Mr Corbyn has previously said that he would be open to introducing a “National Health Budget” for the UK, with his comments following an attempt by the UK Government to sell off a “significant portion” of the UK’s NHS.