What does an American company know about our communities’ needs
“is US giant right for our GPs?” (news, February 25).
The answer is a resounding no. What does an American company know about Camden and its communities? They are not going to know about our residents with disabilities, both learning and physical, and our residents who are terminally ill. And frankly they don’t care.
We do! That’s why we were deeply concerned when we learned AT Medics Ltd were “quietly passed” into the hands of the Centene a US health insurance group. It will be the largest private suppliers of GP services in the UK. The approval was given at a virtual meeting, by North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, in December, at the Primary Care Commissioning Committee.
At Medics indicated there would be no change to the board of directors; however, all six AT Medics directors resigned on February 10 and three new directors were appointed all with links to Operose, a part of the Centene Corporation.
The real concern is that quality and care will be lacking, and profit will be the goal. There may be cuts in services and reduced access to fewer GPs.
Most of you will remember the Camden Road surgery which closed in 2012 leaving thousands of patients without a GP service and then having to go a distance for health provision. Our residents do not need or want a repeat of that trauma!
Dr Robert Dourmashkin (letters, February 25) asks “Where is Labour”?
Both our MPs Tulip Siddiq and Keir Starmer MP have written to Matt Hancock with a string of concerns regarding this move. When the five local authority health leads from Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington councils were alerted to the takeover we immediately got in touch with the accountable officer and chair of the NCL CCG board and arranged to be at the Primary Care Commissioning Committee on February 18.
We took a deputation to that committee and robustly voiced our concerns at the decision and the way it was taken. The link to an audio recording of that meeting is here (https://soundcloud.com/user-473257056/ncl-ccg-primary-care-commissioning-committee-meeting-thursday-18-february). We will now be attending these meetings, plus having a premeet well before each to go through the agenda.
As our deputation stated: “this is a matter of huge public concern. We are talking about public money and the provision of health care to tens of thousands of residents (across NCL). It is not acceptable that these contracts are hoovered up by US corporates without. Anyone knowing what is going on.
Cllr Pat Callaghan is Cabinet Member for a Healthy and Caring Camden at Camden Council.