And in the process, throw some serious shade at their former coalition members, the Liberal-Democrats.
We now have a report that 10 Downings Street is looking at rolling back changes made to the National Health Service in 2012 that promulgated privatization of the system.
This is not a surprise. Increasing the role of the private sector in healthcare never produces better results.
What is interesting though is that the plan, which has been leaked, seems to have been couched in language pointing the finger at the Lib-Dems, probably because the Tories see them as more of a threat than Labour: (See other prominent mentions of the Lib-Dems here and here as well)
The Conservative Government is planning a major overhaul of the NHS by reversing some of the controversial privatisation plans introduced by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, according to a leaked white paper.
The draft document suggested that Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to reduce the role of the private sector in the NHS by reducing competition and competitive tendering and replacing it with collaboration between health providers.
The changes would effectively rollback some of the 2012 reforms of David Cameron’s Government with his Health Secretary Andrew Lansley that saw the establishment of NHS England to run the health service as well as the creation of GP-led clinical commissioning groups to organise local services.
The leaked proposals, published by Health Policy Insight, acknowledged the “unprecedented test to health and care services” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the “urgent” need for a “broader approach to health and care”.
It set out how England’s Health Secretary would assume “enhanced powers of direction” over a newly merged NHS England and NHS Improvement, to set direction in a more “agile” way.
Privatization has always been the worst possible approach to potential problems with a public health system, and it has always been unpopular.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made further movement in this direction untenable, and so the Tories are reversing course, and trying to leave their former coalition members holding the bag.