4 May 2015
LEWISHAM GREEN PARTY MEDIA STATEMENT
Monday 4 May 2015
For immediate publication
Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford, John Coughlin, is calling for an end to the disastrous Private Finance Initiative (PFI) that is rapidly causing NHS patients to be viewed as investments, and again threatens the future of Lewisham Hospital.
“We urgently need more elected Green MPs in Parliament to end PFI contracts, and fight for the repeal of the NHS Health and Social Care Act” John said. “Only the Green Party is committed to ending the privatisation of the NHS, and to ensuring it remains a 100% not-for-profit service. So I am asking Lewisham residents to vote Green on 7th May and help us stand up for a free, fair, publicly funded and high quality health service, for ourselves and generations to come.”
The coalition government’s proposals to downgrade services at Lewisham Hospital and send patients to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich were introduced to help service QEH’s PFI debt, rather than to improve treatment for patients.  The Save Lewisham Hospital campaign obtained a High Court judgement that this was illegal – but a recent government amendment to the Health and Social Care Act 2012 means this is no longer the case. Lewisham Hospital is at risk again.
“Every day private companies like Virgin and Arriva pocket £18 million from the NHS budget” John said. “Non-clinical administrators can now close successful hospitals to overload struggling indebted hospitals with patients, and this is purely to keep up payments on PFI debts that Labour should never have allowed in the first place.”
“I am deeply concerned by the increasing privatisation in our health service. I do not want us to be reliant on an NHS in which the private sector has been allowed to turn patient care into a profit-making opportunity. PFI schemes were introduced under a Labour administration and continued under the Conservatives and Lib Dems. We are the only national party committed to ending PFI and keeping the NHS entirely in public hands” 
Notes for editors