Laurels Health Centre ear-marked for privatisation
October 22, 2008
The management of the GP surgery at the Laurels Health Centre, St Ann’s Road is under threat of privatisation.
Haringey PCT has already advertised for private companies to take over the ‘PMS’ practice at the Laurels, which could lead to multinational health companies, whose main aim is to maximise their profits, taking over the surgery as early as April 2009. Local residents and users of the health centre have called a public meeting about the lack of consultation and to fight the privatisation.
Earlier this year, in May, three Camden GP surgeries were taken over by UnitedHealth, part of a major American company. Local campaigners were kept in the dark for almost 12 months by Camden PCT’s consultation process. The consultation letter failed to alert patients of the impending privatisation – referring only to Alternative Providers of Medical Services (APMS) as being eligible to tender, rather than calling them what they are, profit-making companies. A useful report of the Camden battle can be found on the Camden Keep Our NHS Public website.
Patients all over Haringey should be on their guard – more surgeries could follow the Laurels. Under plans from Haringey’s Teaching and Primary Care Trust, 75 percent of Haringey’s GP surgeries are threatened with closure, with services being forced into five ‘polyclinics’. One of these polyclinics will be the Laurels.