The Destroy the NHS / Health and Social Care Bill is due it’s third (final) reading in Parliament today and tomorrow. Unless abandoned in its entirety, it will then pass to the House of Lords.
It is widely accepted and recognised that the purpose of this bill is to kill the NHS as a quality public service free at the point of need.
Health professionals continue to warn of the dangers of the bill.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) warns of the dangers of the bill.
Helston and West Cornwall MP Andrew George reaffirms that he will vote against the bill and warns of the dangers of the bill.
- Conservative election poster 2010
A few recent news articles about the UK’s Conservative and Liberal-Democrat coalition government – the ConDem’s – brutal attack on the National Health Service.
This bad bill will force hospitals to choose private over public care to make ends meet, write Kailash Chand and JS Bamrah
• Dr Kailash Chand has been a GP for 30 years and chairs Tameside and Glossop NHS
• Dr JS Bamrah is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary senior lecturer at North Manchester general hospital
Cameron’s reassurance that the NHS is safe in Tory hands now seems hollow. To date, Andrew Lansley has failed to explain to the British public the need for this monumental change. Remember, a recent study in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine showed that the NHS is the most efficient service in the world, in lives saved per pound spent. How has David Cameron allowed this to happen?
The public should have no illusions: beneath the veneer of the listening exercise, the core substance that constitutes the bill remains contentious. The NHS reforms remain driven by pure market ideology, without a shred of evidence that they will benefit the English population. On the contrary, the evidence shows that if you create an American-style healthcare system the result will be denial of care and huge costs for the taxpayer. If the bill is passed, coming generations will not forgive us for taking the “National” out of the NHS.
The Health and Social Care Bill, due to start its final Commons stages today (Tuesday), has been ‘barely improved’ by the government’s pause and Future Forum consultation, says the TUC in a briefing for MPs produced on behalf of all its member health unions.
The main concern of health staff that the Bill undermines the founding principles of the NHS has not been met, says the TUC. Instead the NHS will be made more complex and bureaucratic with new structures absorbing funds that will be taken from patient care at a time when services are already being cut.
NHS staff’s top concerns with the Bill are:
- The reforms are still based on extending competition and markets within the health service even though international evidence already shows the NHS is one of the most efficient health systems in the world.
- NHS hospitals will be allowed to maximise their income from private patients, which will mean NHS patients are pushed to the back of growing waiting lists.
- The government is still pushing ahead with the Any Qualified Provider concept which will hinder NHS provision, and open up swathes of the health service to the private sector.
- The Secretary of State for Health will no longer have a full duty to ensure the provision of NHS services, increasing the risk of postcode lotteries in the care available, and meaning a lack of accountability.
- The changes are being forced through at a time when the NHS is already being asked to find £20 billion of efficiency savings (4 per cent a year) and Monitor* has advised foundation trusts to find an extra 2.5 per cent a year. The cost of the re-organisation is estimated at £3 billion a year and is rising by £1 million a day.
Helston and West Cornwall MP Andrew George has said he will vote against the government’s controversial Health Bill this week as concerns rise that it will see the privatisation of the NHS.
There has been widespread concern among doctors and campaigners that, as it stands, the bill will allow much of the £85bn NHS budget to flow into the pockets of private companies and their shareholders.
GP leaders and unions have also stepped up calls on MPs to reject the bill this week after e-mails obtained under the FoI act showed Department of Health officials have discussed plans for private firms to run between ten and 20 NHS hospitals in a deal worth up to £500m.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Mr George said; “The bill breaks the Coalition Agreement, is based upon a false claim that the NHS performs poorly in comparison with health systems across Europe, and represents the biggest upheaval of the NHS in its history at precisely the time it needs stability and certainty.
“The bill runs the high risk of producing a NHS which is driven more by private profit than by concern about patient care; risks undermining emergency services through the fragmentation of health systems; is a major missed opportunity to produce a health service that is more accountable to the patients and communities it serves; and fails to do what really needs to be done, i.e. streamline the pathways between health and social care.”