Public Services

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2005 Health Care Service Group Conference
17 December 2004

Public services can be seen as one of the last bastions of a socially collective and cohesive society; yet our Health, Education, Housing, Transport and Utilities Services are now subject to the volatility of market forces. Our Health Service was in the vanguard of public/private partnerships (PP’s) as set out under a Tory Government over ten years ago and the same are now being enthusiastically promoted by the present Labour Government. Witness the promotion of private companies to provide ‘Walk-in Clinics’. A clear example of how things will look as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) as promoted by the European Constitution opens up further public services to the private sector. This plus discussion on stakeholder health insurance suggests the Government is gearing up for a massive increase in public service ethos are central to UNISON core values, both of which this Branch believes are coming increasingly under attack by the creeping privatisations of the NHS.

We therefore call upon the SGE to co-ordinate a campaign involving all health branches, with the aim of presenting to the public the fundamental argument that an inclusive and fair society must have a Health Service free from the market.