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Campaigners call on government to bring all private hospitals into public ownership

THE government must change its “incompetent plans” and bring all private hospitals into public ownership, a campaign group demanded yesterday in a new action to battle the coronavirus outbreak.

We Own It kicked off its new campaign with a petition, which reached over 10,000 signatures in the first few hours.

With the NHS under more pressure from the impact of coronavirus, the public-ownership group is claiming that extra capacity is needed in the health service.

There are over 570 private hospitals with 8,000 beds in Britain, according to estimates from general union GMB.

We Own It argues that the government’s current plans to rent hospital beds from the private sector at £2.4 million per day is a “staggering waste of money” and “totally immoral”.

The group’s director, Cat Hobbs, said: “Everyone knows we’re in a crisis — and nowhere is this more acute than in our healthcare system.

“Now more than ever we need to make sure our NHS is fully equipped to look after the nation’s health. In the current emergency that means we desperately need to bring in more capacity.

“But the government’s current plans are incompetent at best and scandalous at worst.”

Ms Hobbs said that with people’s lives at stake, a “business as usual approach” is unreliable.

“We need bold action now to see us through this crisis,” she added. “It’s therefore absolutely vital that we bring all private hospitals into public ownership to enable the urgent health support we need to respond to coronavirus.”

Click the link to sign the petition by We Own It: mstar.link/2UskFPq.

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