Tory health minister, Lord Prior, accused over ‘dismantle the NHS’ meeting: #Unite union says the news reveals ‘the influence of private US healthcare on #Conservative thinking’

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Tory health minister, Lord Prior, accused over ‘dismantle the NHS’ meeting

Unite union says the news reveals ‘the influence of private US healthcare on Conservative thinking’

Protesters during a march in support of the NHS and against proposed cuts and privatisation in Manchester in 2013 Getty

Union officials have attacked a Conservative health minister for attending a conference about how to allegedly “dismantle the NHS” before he joined the Government.

Lord Prior went to the event, organised by consultancy firm McKinsey, in September 2013, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported. Topics discussed during various different sessions included “building a national health insurer” and “private health insurance growth opportunities… the new frontier”.

He sent emails to McKinsey after the conference at Windsor, Berkshire, saying: “I much enjoyed it. It does create the space to think and for ideas to settle.”

According to the Mirror, Lord Prior stressed his commitment to a fundamental tenet of the health service.

“My belief in an NHS free at the point of use has never changed and as this Government is in office, the NHS will remain that way,” he told the paper.

However, Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary of the Unite union, said: “It’s absolutely alarming that Lord Prior, who is now a Government minister, attended a meeting about building a national health insurer and private health insurance opportunities … in other words how to dismantle the NHS and have a US-style health system.”

She claimed the news revealed “the influence of private US healthcare on Tory thinking”.

Read more here

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