Devolved countries rally against privatisation of services

The Northern Ireland Assembly has voted to restrict the involvement of the private sector in health and social care services there as the ‘Transforming Your Care’ reforms get underway.

The SDLP proposed the motion guarding against increased service provision from the private sector, and was supported by Sinn Fein and the Alliance Party. The motion was carried in a vote on 28 May, by 47 to 43.

CSP policy officer for Northern Ireland Tom Sullivan welcomed the motion as a positive development for the health service in Northern Ireland.

‘The CSP believes in and is committed to a health and social care service that is free at the point of delivery, based on need, publicly funded, publicly provided and publicly accountable,’ Mr Sullivan said.  

The society also welcomed a pledge by the first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, not to outsource public services, given to trade unionists at the Wales TUC conference in Cardiff on 22 May.

Mr Jones said: ‘There is no room for privatisation of public services in Wales, and I give you that commitment now.’

CSP delegate Louise Wright told the conference: ‘CSP members will welcome a commitment by the minister not to outsource public services like the NHS and maintain publicly funded and delivered services free at the point of use for the people of Wales.’

The first minister also warned of ‘very tough choices’ on spending. However, he promised to prioritise health, education and job creation.

Sally Priestley

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