Intended for healthcare professionals

News Fact Check

Is the NHS being privatised?

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6376 (Published 05 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6376

Read our coverage of the general election 2019

  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The NHS is shaping up to be a key battleground in the upcoming UK general election. In the latest in The BMJ’s Fact Check series, Gareth Iacobucci assesses a familiar claim from Labour: that the Tories are privatising the NHS

What is the latest claim?

On 3 November the Labour Party released figures showing that 78 981 NHS operations were cancelled at the last minute last year because of staffing and capacity pressures.12 In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, used the data as a hook to criticise the government for the number of NHS patients who were funding their own treatment because of long waiting times, …

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