I hate to be the harbinger of doom but the worst-case scenario for the NHS isn't privatization but is running down of it! The private sector is being cherry-picked to fit the established NHS, to extend the NHS and rebrand sympatico businesses as worthy of NHS investment! But if any government tries to privatize it just to finance lowering of taxes, less revenue will be at the Chancellor's disposal; can you imagine Covid 19 without furlough? Cuts and savings won't allow the UK from being the patsy of the international markets! Why did you think Brown (as PM) succeeded in holding the international markets' nerve during the Credit crunch? His reputation? Ok his reputation for originality with some degree of a public sector as collateral to borrow and access its financial value?!?
But at the cost of a de-professionalization of NHS staff by not future proofing it with permanent pay increases!? So, the consequence of Brown's actions is that PM Sunak can use the public sector as his bank to deposit and to withdraw funds from it!? But is he aware of professional qualifications in all the public sector is becoming a social stratum unable to afford getting a foot on the property ladder, let alone being able to choose which schools for their children could go to! Indeed, even the private landlord sector is worried that nurses who would normally pay rent are now so priced out of the market that they are leaving the NHS in droves to get a better salary in the private sector in order to escape the NHS property trap! So private and public sectors are suffering and putting increasing pressure on an unstable mainstream public sector and devaluing the private sector alternative. Instability is a direct result of investment inconsistency from all recent governments, over-investment has been met with under-investment in which instead of seeing in the round of an attempt to re-balance has only led to a seesawing that has rendered the NHS and its multiplier affects devalued!
Imagine a scenario of where the NHS is lagging behind a US public sector version of the NHS!? The horror of seeing the UK’s flag-ship institution of the peace dividend of winning the 2nd World War (with the rest of the allies) lost to the post-Cold War era? How would the British people comprehend being an anomaly in the West made more piquant by the thriving of an NHS US? Would generations of Brits ever forgive it? I think even the 'not convinced by the NHS 'Tories would abhor the UK losing its reputation for leading the way, may find any British national pride besmirched as not acceptable! Moreover, especially those who believe in the perpetuation of choice (they tend to use the health private sector) which an NHS offers health services for free when Tories prefer to purchase! Rob the private sector of competition and the private sector may have to firstly, improve their service or secondly lower their standards!!! That risk with a free well-funded NHS, is eliminated! In fact, those who use the private sector will still pay their taxes and won't bed-block, surgery-block and treatment-block the NHS! Purely by crude demographics the wealthy use their money to establish, earn, own and then spend a larger disposable income freely and yet, on some levels, provide tax revenue to subsidize the NHS!
If privatization is purely ideological and not pragmatic, pride (or ideology) comes before a fall, and the absence of a useful NHS won't stop you taking a tumble and won't sweep you up and take you to a depleted hospital, because there will be nothing left of it to help! Or the NHS has more Tory fans than you'd think!? How? The NHS is composed of vocationals, sympathizers, preservers and supporters, many of whom are dedicated users of the NHS, and of course many of whom are Tories ! So, let's do the math! The likelihood is that 1 in 4 will use mental health services, many 1 in 3 will have treatment for Cancer, GP services, care services as either patients themselves or family who are patients! It's not just that most will access the NHS because of a smaller income and larger outgoings, (a smaller disposable income), it's about self-preservation in an affordable specialised NHS, which may preserve other income streams that individuals may want to allocate elsewhere (for example the leaving of inheritance for children and grandchildren).
Or imagine the desperation of those who are traumatised by having to decide which generation of a family they can afford to pay for private health treatment, or prioritize one member of the family over another, if there was no NHS in the UK! It would really be 'health anarchy in the UK’! But imagine if you were a health private company unable to plan but having to guesstimate extra staff for one month and then less equipment for another....in an unstable marketplace? It's hardly a way to run a business, is it?!!! How can you grow the business without the levels of investment that the NHS has honed from 70/80 years of experience. Knowing how the British people work involves professional expertise that we the British people respond to, and also that the established Private health Care sector are also familiar with. Any disturbance of the health force could disrupt both public and private sectors! New 'Jonny come latelies' in the private sector would be just as provocative to the private as well as the public sector, and actually muddle the very choice privatization is meant to induce??!! In fact, the best self-regulation for any business is to be left alone from the government to define how it wants to run its own business! Ironically a mass production of mass health privatization will actually prevent non-governmental intrusion, especially when the British public missing the NHS, won’t wait to rally for a renationalisation of its health sector(which may actually radicalize a new NHS and not just recover it ) and want any excuse to show how 'corrupt' not just one anomalous Home or institution is, but tarnish the whole of the private health sector, or even the Private sector in general sector!!!! That would regress the Uk for decades and generations and put Brexit into a 'Scargill Brexit’! We need to be informed of these risks, and how to avoid such nightmares that would take us back to post 2nd world War exhaustion and pennilessness! Don't stir the pot! Don't provoke over-reactions! Just keep it together by pragmatism and not by ideology!