03:43 GMT +323 February 2019
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    A protester holds a placard in support of the NHS in front of the Elizabeth Tower, also known as Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament during a march against private companies' involvement in the National Health Service (NHS) and social care services provision and against cuts to NHS funding in central London on March 4, 2017

    Fears Over US Involvement in UK Public Health Care Groundless – Campaigner

    © AFP 2018 / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS
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    LONDON (Sputnik) – Concerns that US private-sector companies may gain access to contracts of the UK National Health Service (NHS) in post-Brexit trade deals may be a groundless "over-reaction" as the NHS deals lack funding and thus not that attractive for corporations, Dr. John Lister of Health Campaigns Together (HCT) told Sputnik.

    "I really don't think there is any empirical evidence anywhere to suggest the Americans are actually nosing around looking to move in, which is a bit of an over-reaction. I think it's also pretty obvious that the private sector as it is does not make much profit out of the NHS either. Nobody ever seems to make money out of these things because they [the NHS contracts] are so under-funded," Lister said.

    The activist also pointed out that the UK government was unlikely to massively attract the private sector for funding the NHS as this measure would be highly unpopular.

    "It may be that there are people in the government, who envision a longer-term solution and want to get the private sector back in there, but they have to deal with the political reality that this would be massively unpopular with the public. Any government that actually did that would pay a heavy price," Lister added.

    READ MORE: Sticking Plaster Approach Will Not Mask Britain's NHS Cash Crisis, Report Warns

    Last week, UK Prime Minister Theresa May prompted controversy in the House of Commons by refusing to give a definite answer to a question about the potential US involvement in the UK health service. The move sparked criticism of the Labour Party – the main opposition party in the United Kingdom. It came after US President Donald Trump said that the NHS was "going broke and not working," a claim which was refuted by UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

    The NHS is currently under fire as lack of its financing resulted in heavy queues and long delays to treatment, which was dubbed as a health crisis by the opposition and watchdogs.

    The views and opinions expressed by Dr. John Lister are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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