It is with the deepest disappointment and gravest foreboding that we received the news today that AT Medics is to be taken over by Operose Health, a subsidiary of US Health Care company Centene
AT Medics is the largest provider of primary care services to the National Health Service and operates General Practices across London mainly through Alternative Providers of Medical Services (APMS) contracts.
Involvement of the private sector in the provision of NHS services has led to fragmentation of care, to the detriment of patients. This has been thrown into sharp focus by the COVID 19 pandemic. The National Test and Trace programme, run by the likes of Serco, Sitel and Deloitte has been an abject failure, and nowhere have the consequences of outsourcing and fragmentation been so tragically shown to be a disaster as much as in social care, when for lack of national planning and oversight, many elderly residents of care homes so needlessly died.
We have been warning for years that US health care firms are circling to swoop on the NHS. Our fears are dismissed by politicians and senior NHS managers. The public are constantly told that the NHS is not being privatised. The advent of Centene onto the General Practice landscape across London reveals yet again, the this is a lie. In reality the NHS is being parcelled up and sold off under the radar.
The leaked white paper on Integrated Care Systems, with it’s promise to end competition will only hasten the demise of the NHS into a US style HMO system as contracts are handed to private companies, without scrutiny. This practice already has precedent and has been common throughout the COVID 19 pandemic.
US style health care is nothing to aspire to they spend more on health care as a share of the economy, nearly twice as much as the average OECD country, yet have the lowest life expectancy and highest suicide rates among the 11 nations.
We demand that the affected CCGs terminate the APMS contracts held by AT Medics and now Overose in line with Para 54.1 of the Standard APMS Contract, October 2019 which states:
“The Contractor shall not sell, assign, sub-contract or in any way dispose of any of its rights or duties under the Contract in relation to the Services or any part thereof without the prior written authorisation of the Commissioner and subject to such conditions as the Commissioner in its absolute discretion may impose.”
Further we demand that outsourcing to the private sector is stopped and that the NHS is returned to the publicly funded, publicly provided, comprehensive health care service, available to all, free at the point of delivery that Nye Bevan intended.