HACKWOOD, Gillies and Camrose (CGH) merged surgeries will enter a partnership with the American based company Operose Health next Friday.

The CGH surgeries say the decision will support the practice an enabled them to continue to provide high quality and sustainable primary care services.

But a local councillor has concerns about the decision undermining the NHS.

This morning Cllr Paul Harvey took to his Facebook page to express his apprehensions about the partnership which will come into effect next Friday November 6.

He titled his post “Hackwood, Gillies and Camrose surgeries ‘sell out’ to American healthcare giant.”

He began to express his anger: “The partners of these surgeries merged in order that they could provide, they told us, a better service for patients. That consultation was poor, and they left us with no choice, they were doing it anyway.”

He added that it was “shocking” that such a “serious decision” had been made with “very little if any consultation.”

Cllr Harvey’s concerns grew further after researching Operose Health and their history in the UK health system.

“I am deeply disturbed by their practices and track record. This appears to be a fundamentally bad decision. I would invite the partners to consider the implications of allowing an American based healthcare company access like this.

“The long-term consequences of allowing an American provider whose values are not shared by our community when it comes to healthcare is most concerning. Given the nature of our NHS as compared to US healthcare they cannot guarantee that we will not be adversely affected by this decision.”

CGH surgeries sent out a letter to local councillors which Paul Harvey published on his Facebook.

In the letter CGH surgeries assure councillors that the decision will not have any significant changes in the way practice works all the way patients access services.

Patients will continue to see the same healthcare practitioners and members of the admin team that they currently do.

But the letter did little to reassure Cllr Harvey: “The further privatisation of healthcare and undermining the NHS is really concerning. You have a ‘captive’ population who were given no choice in this matter.

“They had to accept the decision to merge surgeries and they were given no choice in this decision. It is not as if people can exercise their right simply to go to another surgery.”

He ended his statement by proclaiming: “This is a terrible decision to allow an American healthcare company into our healthcare system in Basingstoke.”

The GP surgeries say in their letter that the decision is a “collaboration between two organisations with shared interests and goals to deliver great care” the patients.

They claim the partnership is the right decision for patients based on their evaluation of all the risks and benefits involved.