Protests as top NHS reformer speaks at Whittington Hospital

PROTESTERS were out in force as the former chief executive of the private company now running three GP surgeries in Camden appeared as a guest speaker at the Whittington Hospital in Highgate. On Tuesday night, Dr Richard Smith spoke about combining public

PROTESTERS were out in force as the former chief executive of the private company now running three GP surgeries in Camden appeared as a guest speaker at the Whittington Hospital in Highgate.

On Tuesday night, Dr Richard Smith spoke about combining public and private sectors in healthcare.

And he made parallels to the USA and Latin America where the rich have access to the best healthcare treatment and the poor get the worst.

"I'm trying to avoid that," he said. "But I'm sure the people who were protesting at the gate today think I'm trying to promote that."


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Protesters outside the hospital said Dr Smith's invitation to the Whittington's annual oration shows how far the agenda to privatise the NHS has moved.

Dr Smith was editor of the British Medical Journal for 25 years before joining the UnitedHealth Group - the American company which took over the Brunswick Medical Centre, the Camden Road Surgery and King's Cross Road Surgery in April.

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Picture by Polly Hancock

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