Farage admits he still wants a private NHS

After backtracking on leaked comments last year, the UKIP leader tells Radio 4 he still supports privatising healthcare


UKIP leader Nigel Farage has again suggested that he would support privatising the the NHS. In an interview with BBC political editor Nick Robinson, Farage admitted that his party were not behind him on the issue but that he had not changed his opinion:

“I triggered a debate within UKIP that was outright rejected by my colleagues, so I have to accept that. As time goes on, this is a debate that we’re all going to have to return to.”

Farage was responding to Robinson’s questions about a film uncovered last November by the Guardian, in which he told UKIP supporters that the he believed the NHS would be better funded by an insurance based system. He said:

“There is no question that healthcare provision is going to have to be very much greater in 10 years than it is today, with an ageing population, and we’re going to have to find ways to do it.”

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary has responded to Farage’s comments:

“Nigel Farage has confirmed that a vote for UKIP is a vote for the privatisation of the NHS and for a full American healthcare system.

“Farage admits he says one thing in public about the NHS but another behind closed doors. He has shown UKIP’s statements on protecting the NHS to be hollow.
“UKIP claim to stand up for working people, but in reality they are more Tory than the Tories. Farage will never be able to distance himself from his real views. He should be honest with the public.”

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72 Responses to “Farage admits he still wants a private NHS”

  1. Neil Wilson

    All sides get this wrong.

    The NHS is ‘funded’ by the people that work in it, the buildings they occupy and the equipment they use (and the people who therefore build that equipment). So the question is what alternative use is Farage and his cronies proposing for that equipment and the people engaged in running and creating it that is so much more important than looking after the nation’s health?

    You don’t run an NHS with money. You run it with stuff. You can’t “tax the rich” to make it better if there are no doctors and nurses to hire.

    You certainly won’t make it better by tying up real resources filling in and processing insurance paperwork.

    The debate we need to have is to ask the right wing what their proposed alternative use is for the people they want to sack, and the equipment they want to scrap, and to ask the left wing exactly where the doctors and nurses are at the moment they intend to hire.

    In other words we need to ‘Get Real’ about the NHS and other public provision.

  2. JHM125

    I don’t understand any of what you’ve written.

    “You don’t run an NHS with money. You run it with stuff”?? That’s like saying you build roads with tarmac, which while strictly speaking is correct, it fails to recognise the necessary organisation, staffing and funding that is also required i.e. it’s a highly simplistic and even childish perspective.

    The question is not what alternative use Farage is proposing for the NHS; it’s use is perfectly clear. The question, surely, is whether structured differently the NHS could provide the same or better service in a more efficient manner.

  3. Alan59

    Absolute Rubbish , still voting UKIP !

  4. LB

    Yes you will.

    The NHS needs splitting up. Just as the police cannot police themselves, the NHS should not supervise itsellf. That’s why you get hundreds slaughtered at Stafford, and the NHS response is to go after the whistle blower. Why didn’t the NHS pick up on Shipman?

    1. Regulation needs to be stripped from the NHS.

    Next. Why is the NHS restricting access to medicines? It’s because the NHS is insurer and supplier combined. It’s not in the interest of the insurance element to pay for the treatment, so the patient gets screwed.

    2. Separate insurer and supplier.

    Why doesn’t the NHS pay large compensation to the victims of its errors. If you look at the error rate, the compensation rate, and the reporting rate there are huge descrepancies. The reason is that the insurance element is in cahoots to lower its cost, at the expense of the patient and the victims of errors.

    So all three legs need to be divorced.

    Next look at the financials. The pensions. 39 bn on top of the 133 reported cost. Whose going to pay for that? It’s either the state of patients. My guess is that the voters will choose to shaft the staff.

    Meanwhile, how is Burhams decisions going on his hospital he privatized?

  5. LB

    So its all about the staff and fuck all about the patients. That’s why you are the problem not the solution.

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