Whilst some of us reckon that a worker controlled network of health services would work better than a state authoritarian NHS, trusting a ballon obsessed corporate wanker like Branson with our physical health is clearly a bad idea. I for one will be joining Keep our NHS public, you should get down there and show some support too!
Here is the Keep Our NHS Public national call out:
Tell Richard Branson ...
KEEP VIRGIN PROFITEERING OUT OF OUR NHS! WEEKEND OF ACTION APRIL 21 AND 22
Below are just a few reasons to oppose the way the Health Act opens up our NHS to private profits from companies like Virgin. With Richard Branson threatening to sue even the mildest critics, we need to show we won't let him bully his way in to taking over our health service.
Local groups are asked to pick a Virgin store or Gym and organise a protest. Let us know when and where. We will have a leaflet you can use on the day. Virgin media store locator: http://shop.virginmedia.com/store-locator.html Virgin Active club finder: http://www.virginactive.co.uk/en/club-finder
Plans in London so far include:
Saturday 21 April -- Camden & Islington 2pm Virgin store Oxford St, opposite the Plaza
(contact 07946 480261)
Waltham Forest 1pm Virgin store Selbourne Walk -- Meet outside Walthamstow central Library 1pm sharp (contact 07914 529959)
Sunday 22 April
Lewisham, Lambeth & Southwark at London marathon sponsored by Virgin
(details soon on http://www.lewishamkonp.org/)
Is Virgin coming to a hospital or clinic near you?
Before the new Health and Social Care Act has even come into force, Ricahrd Branson's Virgin care have already taken over these NHS services:
* £500million contract for community health services in South West and North West Surrey
* Sexual Health Service for Milton Keynes
* Dermatology service in the Isle of Wight
* Shortlisted as potential providers of integrated children’s services in Devon (i)
Richard Branson and David Cameron "You rub my back - I'll rub yours"
It is not surprising "Virgin Care" is doing well out of the NHS or that Branson was one of the guests at the White House when David Cameron went to dinner there last month.
* Just before the 2010 election Richard Branson was photographed in February supporting David Cameron's election bid. (ii)
* A month later he bought loss-making Assura private health company for knock down price of £4m, saying Virgin had been waiting to find "the right entry point" into the health market. (iii)
* That acquisition of a GP provider company put Virgin in pole position to have influence in the government's new commissioning arrangements.
* A year later Virgin was the private health company with most links on the shadow commissioning boards.(iv)
Any criticism and Branson threatens to sue!
Richard Branson is threatening to sue the Telegraph and journalist Max Pemberton for an article critical of Virgin's takeover of community services published this week. It is reported Branson is demanding a half page reply. A high court injunction was served on Sunday to try to prevent the article being published. Branson is said to be unhappy too about the tweeting and using it as part of the case. Max could face costs of up to £90,000.