Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of ditching a pledge to halt privatisation in the NHS, after it emerged £127 million-worth of health contracts are currently out to tender.
But NHS bosses defended Hancock saying, ‘They’re not being privatised. We’ll have em. Twice. And put us down for a couple more next week. We’ve got loadsamoney.’
In February Hancock told the House of Commons health and social care committee ‘There is no privatisation of the NHS on my watch, and the integrated care contracts will go to public sector bodies to deliver the NHS in public hands.’
And with the NHS expecting their first £350m cheque to clear in their account tomorrow, they’ve set out ambitious plans to buy back contracts for all health services and rebuild hospitals in towns up and down the country. ‘And by June we’ll be able to extend NHS healthcare to people from all round the world.’ A spokesman said, adding, ‘NHS tourism could become massive. And it’s all thanks to the forward thinking of Nigel Farage.’
But Shadow Health Secretary, Jon Ashworth, has said the recent privatisation of cancer PET-CT scanning services in Oxford, and the further £36m worth of contracts put out to tender in the last few weeks, suggest Hancock may have been ‘telling porkie pies.’
Under laws introduced by the Coalition government, NHS trusts must put to tender any contract worth more than £615,278.
A figure described a ‘small change’ by an organisation which is now swimming in money.
NHS England has called for the rules to be scrapped in order to cut delays and reduce bureaucracy.
A spokesman said, ‘We’ve given the government two weeks to introduce the new legislation and then we’ll be putting everything back in public hands. It’ll take us that long to stock up our drinks cabinet anyway, and a few of us are going out to Cuba to get some decent cigars for the boardroom.’
Economists say smoking costs the NHS £30 million per year.
And critics have said NHS heads smoking cigars on duty will only add to that bill. NHS England responded by saying, ‘£30 million? We don’t get out of bed for that. In fact, with the cash we’ve got no one will have to get out of our beds until they decide for themselves that they’re good and ready.’