By politics.co.uk staff
The government's privatisation of the NHS is a 'Trojan Horse' that could cause untold damage to public services, said a major trade union today.
Unite called for safeguards to ensure that services remain within the NHS and delivered by NHS staff.
Speaking at the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) in Liverpool, Unite assistant secretary general Gail Cartmail said privatisation of the NHS was completely unacceptable.
Ms Cartmail said: "It is clear that the not-so-subtle encouragement given by the government for the various privatisation initiatives, such as the private finance initiatives (PFIs) and the misguided experiment with social enterprises, are the Trojan Horse that could lead to the fragmentation of the NHS.
"Conservatives, such as MEP Daniel Hannan; right-wing media pundits; and Barak Obama-baiting American healthcare insurance companies all view the current creeping privatisation of the NHS as a golden opportunity to maximise profits for shareholders."
Ms Cartmail called for the prime minister to "call 'time'" on private healthcare companies "that seek to make a handsome profit from the sick, the elderly, and the vulnerable".
Trade unions have been making their presence felt on the British political agenda today, as Peter Mandelson took the first steps to outline public sector cuts under Labour.
The prime minister is due to address the TUC conference tomorrow.