MP joins protest over takeover of local GPs

Bell Ribeiro-Addy outside Streatham Place surgery

Local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy today (22 April) joined anti-privatisation campaigners to oppose a US healthcare giant’s takeover of local surgeries.

The protest was part of a national day of action co-ordinated by campaign groups and trade unions including Keep Our NHS PublicWe Own It and Doctors in Unite.

Operose Health, a subsidiary of US-based Centene acquired London’s largest healthcare provider AT Medics in October last year, taking over 49 GP surgeries and more than 370,000 patients in the Greater London area.

Twenty of these are in South London and include three Streatham GPs – the Edith Cavell Surgery, the Streatham High Practice and the Streatham Place Surgery.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy (centre) outside the Edith Cavell surgery

 Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour party MP for Streatham, said: “From PPE shortages to the failure of our privatised test and trace system, we’ve seen what happens when essential public services are sold off to companies for private gain, often to people with close ties to government.

“Our surgeries are never going to be safe in the hands of US healthcare giants like Centene, whose need to make profit for shareholders will always trump the quality of patient care.

“The sell-off of local surgeries is part of a bigger programme of stealth privatisation which the government has been pushing through during the pandemic.”

Full list of affected surgeries