NHS Chief Quits, Calls Austerity a Weapon to “Dismantle the State”

Dr. Gabriel Scally, who resigned in April, also talks of “a very deliberate policy across all of the public sector to roll back the achievements that have been made in this country since the second world war,” and “a systematic downgrading, if not destruction, of civil society in England” by the Tory-led coalition government, as well as speaking about “the circling birds of prey of the private sector seeking to make big profits out of healthcare.” 

For those hoping to keep the government’s malignant NHS reforms under the spotlight, the Guardian‘s interview this week with Dr. Gabriel Scally is important. Dr. Scally held a senior position in the Department of Health, as the regional director of public health for the south-west of England, but he resigned in April “as a direct result of his alarm at the coalition government’s health policies,” and “because he wanted the freedom to oppose them,” as he told Denis Campbell in his first interview since resigning.

“The time had come for me to step outside the formal system and do things in a different way,” he said. “My job is helping people live healthier lives in healthier communities, and there are better ways of doing it than participating in the changes that are taking place in the public sector in England.”

He also said, “Since 1993, I’ve been restructured and reorganised eight times, I think, and that’s enough really. Throughout these restructurings I’ve seen a loss of talent, of momentum and of coherence, in both the NHS structures and public health structures.” He added, crucially, “This one [Andrew Lansley’s fiercely opposed Health and Social Care Act] was the final straw.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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