Leading GPs warn of Trump 'appeasement' threat to NHS

GPs have joined other health professionals in condemning the British government's 'appeasement' of US president Donald Trump.

Prime minister Theresa May: warning from doctors over US trade deal
Prime minister Theresa May: warning from doctors over US trade deal

A letter published by The Guardian, signed by leading GPs and other doctors, said that clinicians were obliged to speak out about the jeopardy to British citizens from the ‘transatlantic appeasement spectacle’.

The doctors, including BMA deputy chair Dr David Wrigley, other GPC members and campaigners - all of whom signed in a personal capacity - condemned Mr Trump’s refugee ban and pledge to overturn his predecessor Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

The letter accused prime minister Theresa May of appearing ‘happy to accelerate the fragmentation and sale of NHS services to US markets’, in reference to the government’s commitment to securing a post-Brexit free trade deal with the new US administration.

NHS not for sale

On Wednesday Ms May told MPs ‘the NHS is not for sale and it never will be’ after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded assurances the health service would not be used as a ‘bargaining chip’ in a US trade deal.

The clinicians’ letter added that the NHS was being ‘pushed further into a desperate humanitarian crisis with people dying on hospital trolleys and nurses’ pay reduced’. More than 50 hospitals declared high level alerts because of extreme pressure during each of the first three weeks of 2017.

The letter says: ‘We demand strong opposition to harmful actions against vulnerable people, which includes protection of our NHS from a Trump-style corporate takeover.' It calls on people to support the #OurNHS national protest against cuts, closures and privatisation on 4 March.

NHS crisis

GP signatories to the clinicians’ letter included Dr Wrigley, BMA London chair Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA London honorary secretary and GPC member Dr Jackie Applebee, and GPC members Dr Deborah Colvin and Dr Louise Irvine.

Former GPC member Dr Ron Singer, City and Hackney BMA honorary secretary Dr Coral Jones, east London GP academic Dr Kambiz Boomla, co-leader of the National Health Action party Dr Bob Gill, Gateshead and South Tyneside LMC member Dr Helen Groom, east London GP Dr Anna Livingstone and retired GP Dr Jack Czauderna also signed.

Other signatories include leading junior doctor and BMA rep Dr Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, emeritus professor of geriatric medicine Prof Raymond Tallis and consultant radiologist, and BMA council member Dr Jacky Davis.

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