Spain has nationalised all of its private hospitals the UK should do the same
This is a government on a wartime footing: a government calling for a collective national effort as Boris Johnson would do ‘whatever it takes’ – warning of even more extreme measures to come. Nationalising private hospitals is not extreme its life saving and essential.
Hospitals have been told to cancel non-urgent surgery and free up beds as they prepare for large numbers of Covid-19 patients.
In a letter to senior managers and hospital trusts, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens and NHS chief operating officer Amanda Pritchard said the health service will “come under intense pressure” when the virus peaks.
It said important measures are needed to “free up the maximum possible inpatient and critical care capacity; prepare for, and respond to, the anticipated large numbers of Covid-19 patients who will need respiratory support; and support staff, and maximise their availability”.
The government should be nationalising not renting.
The NHS is in the process of “block-buying” capacity in private hospitals, which should be completed within a fortnight. Block-buying does not mean literately buying but booking and paying for the beds
“Their staff and facilities will then be flexibly available to you for urgent surgery, as well as for repurposing their beds, operating theatres and recovery facilities to provide respiratory support for Covid-19 patients.”
Community health providers and social care providers are also being asked to free up beds that could be used flexibly
“Boris Johnson says this is ‘the worst public health crisis for a generation’ – well, he needs to start acting like it,” said Tim Roache, the GMB trade union’s general secretary.
“It can’t be right that we have plush private hospitals lying empty waiting for the wealthy to fall ill, while people are left in dying in hospitals for the want of a bed.
“Do the right thing and let these unused beds be requisitioned by the NHS to save lives.”
Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said it would be “completely wrong” not to call on all the resources available and said his party backed the call.
“The government should leave no stone unturned when it comes to supporting our NHS and making sure it is best equipped to protect life throughout the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said.
“That’s why we support GMB’s calls to requisition private hospital beds and increase capacity to meet the rising demand.
“As the prime minister said, this is the worst public health crisis for a generation. It would be completely wrong for the government not to call on all the resources possible.”
Spain has nationalised all of its private hospitals
Spain is one of the worst-affected countries outside China, and its government has taken a number of extraordinary steps in an attempt to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The health minister, Salvador Illa, said private healthcare facilities would be requisitioned for coronavirus patients, and manufacturers and suppliers of healthcare equipment must notify the government within 48 hours.
The Spanish government declared a state of emergency on Saturday, placing the country in lockdown and ordering people to leave their homes only if they needed to buy food or medicine or go to work or hospital. The transport minister, José Luis Ábalos, said it was “obvious” the measures would be extended beyond the planned 15-day period.
The government closed schools and public spaces and told citizens they can leave the house only to go to work and buy essentials like food and medicine.
“The government of Spain will protect all its citizens and will guarantee the right life conditions to slow the pandemic with as little inconvenience as possible,” Sánchez said.
#covid19uk #Coronavirus #COVID-19
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