Wednesday, 24 March 2021

STOP CENTENE: Green Left statement against corporate takeover of UK GP practices


STOP CENTENE: Green Left statement against corporate takeover of UK GP practices

 Green Left notes that 70 GP practices in the Uk, 49 of them in London, have been taken over by the Centene Corporation, a major US health insurer, through its UK subsidiary, Operose. These were approved by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) without consulting  the public or local councils and with minimal oversight of the effect on NHS staff  and quality of service. 


We demand that  CCGs prohibit any further takeovers  by Centene or other for-profit companies; and that all such existing for-profit contracts be terminated as soon as legally possible. 


While salaried GP partners quite reasonably prefer to use their training and experience to care for patients rather than on managing surgery finances, that task can be carried out by suitably qualified NHS employees.


We believe that Centene has made its large investment in UK NHS GP practices,  through Its UK subsidiary Operose, in the expectation that Operose will in future pay dividends to the parent company. Operose has contracts to digitalise the NHS, transferring various patient-physician interactions to online only, with serious implications for future. quality of care. It  is clear from the business model that dividends will involve the closure of non-profitable parts of its business. This could include closure of GP practices that remain unprofitable despite "rationalisation" through cuts in staff, wages and services to patients. Local GP practices in deprived communities, or with a large number of older patients, may be particularly vulnerable to closure and transfer of patients to large area GP hubs. This will create difficulty for patients with impaired mobility to reach a doctor. 

Unless these profit-driven takeovers are stopped, our NHS GP Services will be commercialised and taxpayers will pay more for a reduced service, the profits ending up in the US.'

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