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UK private surgery drive attacked in high-profile NHS resignation:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The head of an NHS trust has resigned publicly in protest at the way the private sector has been granted priority access to a high-volume, low-cost surgery market, to the detriment of the more complex, high-investment activities demanded of NHS hospitals. While there is a place for private providers, their increasing use is threatening the very operability of the NHS and "pushing it to the point of no return", said Debbie Abrahams, chair of Rochdale Primary Care Trust. She voiced her criticism of the increasingly destabilising privatisation of the NHS during a march (Manchester, June 24) to protest at the service and staffing cuts linked to the current financial crisis. The issue of service privatisation and "US-style supermarket attitudes to health" are at the top of the agenda of the British Medical Association's annual conference, which begins today in Belfast (see related story).

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