The Green Party Trade Union Group urges Green Party members and supporters to join the campaign against the takeover of General Practice surgeries by Operose Health, owned by Centene, a US health company. The campaign includes a demonstration outside Operose Health HQ in Central London on Demonstration outside Centene headquarters on Thursday 22nd April 2021 3-4pm (Operose Health, 77 New Cavendish Street, W1 6XB) and in other areas of London as well as Nottingham and Leeds.
The Green Party Trade Union Group notes that 70 GP practices in the UK, 49 of them in London, have been taken over by the Centene Corporation, a major US health insurer, through its UK subsidiary, Operose. These were approved by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) without consulting the public or local councils and with minimal oversight of the effect on NHS staff and quality of service.
We demand that CCGs prohibit any further takeovers by Centene or other for-profit companies; and that all such existing for-profit contracts be terminated as soon as legally possible.
We believe that Centene has made its large investment in UK NHS GP practices, through Its UK subsidiary Operose, in the expectation that Operose will in future pay dividends to the parent company. Operose has contracts to digitalise the NHS, transferring various patient-physician interactions to online only, with serious implications for future quality of care. It is clear from the business model that dividends will involve the closure of non-profitable parts of its business. This could include closure of GP practices that remain unprofitable despite “rationalisation” through cuts in staff, wages and services to patients. Local GP practices in deprived communities, or with a large number of older patients, may be particularly vulnerable to closure and transfer of patients to large area GP hubs. This will create difficulty for patients with impaired mobility to reach a doctor.
We cannot trust the ‘due diligence’ of CCGs who permitted the sale of independent-provider contracts to a new corporate owner, while apparently ignoring that Centene is accused by the Attorney General of defrauding Ohio of millions of dollars of Medicaid payments.
Unless these profit-driven takeovers are stopped, our NHS GP Services will be commercialised and taxpayers will pay more for a reduced service, the profits ending up in the US.
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