- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat (Conservative) coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges intended to issue a joint statement of opposition to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and the Con-Dem coalition government’s proposed changes to the NHS.
Lansley became aware of the letter and lobbied secretaries of the Royal Colleges to prevent the letter being issued.
The statement was not issued after objection by the Royal College of Surgeons. There are suggestions of another objection by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
A draft of the statement is published by the Guardian. Medical leaders may seek Cameron talks over health bill concerns | Politics | The Guardian
Andrew Lansley attacks the BMA (British Medical Association) as being “politically poisoned” for opposing the Con-Dem government’s attack on the NHS.
Speaking at Liverpool’s Alder Hey children’s hospital, Lansley said: “Look back to 1948 when the BMA denounced Aneurin Bevan as ‘a would-be Führer’ for wanting them to join a National Health Service. And Bevan himself described the BMA as ‘politically poisoned people’. A survey at the time shows only 10% of doctors backed the plans.”
The same Guardian article claims defeat for the government in it’s attempt to abolish the Health Secretary’s responsibility to provide the NHS.
However, later in the day, Lansley performed his most significant U-turn yet on the bill over the highly charged issue of the health secretary’s “constitutional responsibilities” to the NHS, which a House of Lords committee had warned would be “diluted” by the proposals.
Faced by a united front – led by Labour’s Lady Thornton and the Liberal Democrats’ Lady Williams – health minister Earl Howe conceded defeat by withdrawing proposals that had sparked major concern and backing the alternative amendment. It explicitly states: “The secretary of state retains ministerial responsibility to parliament for the provision of the health service in England.”
This claim appears unreported elsewhere and I’ve tried to verify using Lords’ Hansard without success.
I am likely to return to Lansley’s comments on the BMA since it seems a particularly nasty, underhand attack.