Jeremy Hunt is facing a monumental backlash after saying goodbye to the NHS

Jeremy Hunt
Nye Jones

On 9 July, Theresa May appointed Jeremy Hunt as Britain’s new foreign secretary, ending his almost six-year stint as health secretary. Hunt then proceeded to tweet goodbye to the NHS:

But people weren’t buying his supposedly heartfelt message.

Pay

Bizarrely, a former adviser to the Labour Party was full of praise for Hunt’s work as health secretary:

But thankfully, those with direct experience of Hunt’s legacy soon put the record straight:

As the BBC reported:

The Royal College of Nursing claims average pay for nurses has fallen by more than 14% in real terms since 2010.

Hunt brokered a new pay deal in March 2018. But a spokesperson for the GMB union said the deal didn’t go far enough to reverse the damage of the NHS staff pay squeeze.

Junior doctors

People also called Hunt out for alienating NHS staff:

Hunt waged a war on junior doctors after they refused to accept new contracts. He aimed to increase the NHS’s weekend services by making more doctors work on Saturdays and Sundays. But the result was a contract which the British Medical Association deemed “unsafe and unfair”.

Hunt eventually showed his famous compassion by imposing the contract on junior doctors after months of strikes. But the damage had been done. The Mirror reported that:

Just half of those who finished their first two years on the job in 2016 went straight into NHS training to become a specialist or GP.

This is compared with 71% in 2011.

Privatisation

People also contested that Hunt’s legacy is one of increasing NHS privatisation:

… meaning only private investors will be sorry to see him go:

In 2005, Hunt actually co-authored a book with other Tory MPs which argued that the NHS is “no longer relevant in the 21st century”. The book called for a new system, involving people paying money into personal health accounts.

Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a shock that, during 2016-17, out of the 386 clinical contracts “put out to tender in England”, 267 were secured by private firms. Overall, Hunt privatised £3.1bn worth of health services during 2016-17 alone.

A new dawn?

NHS staff are over the moon that Hunt is leaving:

But some think his successor is more naughty boy than messiah:

Hunt, meanwhile, gave new health secretary Matt Hancock his blessing:

Yet this may be because the two are cut from the same cloth. Evolve Politics reported that:

From December 2010 until the present day, the MP’s Register of Interests shows that the newly appointed Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has received in the region of £42,000 from Neil Record, who just so happens to be the Chairman of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA).

The IEA openly admits it would like to abolish the NHS:

Not in the clear

Everyone who loves the NHS should allow themselves a brief fist-pump at the news that Hunt is toddling off to cause carnage abroad.

Yet Hancock’s appointment indicates that this government’s assault on one of Britain’s most loved institutions isn’t over yet.

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Featured image via YouTube

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