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Clive Efford bill is the final chance to protect our NHS

Save-the-NHS-300x300There are now less than six months to go before the next general election.

Inevitably, at the heart of the campaign will be the future of our NHS, which over the last four years has been fragmented and privatised by the Conservative led Coalition Government. While the Conservative’s remain wedded to their policies of privatisation, the Liberal Democrats are working hard in an effort to make people forget, but without them none of the disastrous policies affecting our NHS could have been passed.

The Government promised the Health and Social Care Act would put patients at the centre of the new clinical commissioning arrangement. However, these promises never materialised and patients have been side-lined as commissioners’ force through changes to walk-in centres and GP services against the wishes of local people.

Our hospitals have been gripped by an endless cycle of A&E crisis, waiting times are increasing and patient satisfaction has gone into free fall.

The Government’s top down reorganisation has failed, it has wasted £3 billion, money which should have been spent on frontline services. New rules have allowed hospitals to earn up to 49 per cent of their income from private patients, pushing NHS patients to the back of the queue, and doctors are being forced to open up services to competition from the private sector under the threat of competition lawyers.

In the run up to the election the Coalition are trying to distance themselves from their own health policy. A senior Conservative minister told The Times newspaper the NHS reorganisation was their biggest mistake, and Lib Dems were vocal about repealing the bill during their conference.

This Friday the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats will be faced with a clear choice to either go into the next election defending their NHS reforms, or support Clive Efford MP’s Private Member’s Bill to repeal the damaging competition rules and rewrite the rules that force market tendering of services and that are seeing millions of pounds wasted on competition lawyers that should instead be spent on patients.

The Private Members Bill will restore real democratic accountability through re-establishing the Secretary of State’s legal duty to provide the National Health Service in England. The Bill will also repeal Section 75 regulations that force market tending of contracts, as well as scrapping the competition framework, removing the role of Monitor as an economic regulator enforcing competition in the NHS, and removing the Competition and Markets Authority from any role in the NHS.

The Bill will allow us to once again build an NHS that prioritises patients over profits and co-operation over competition.

The NHS is one of our greatest achievements and our most important institution. After four years of failure, the Tories and Lib Dems have one final opportunity to apologise for their disastrous health policy and help to correct the mistakes that have opened our NHS to competition and privatisation but struggling to meet the needs of patients.

2 Comments

  1. Barry Ewart says:

    Yes support this. Labour is committed to scrapping the Tory NHS Act and hopefully this will mean scrapping Moitor, kicking the private sector out of the NHS, and democratising the NHS. It would also help if we took the pharmaceutical companies into public ownership – if the Tories/Libs/UKIP get in they will bring in charges to see your GP!

  2. Barry Ewart says:

    STOP PRESS! Just read research from UNITE (18/11/14) shows one 5th Coalition MPs (64 Tories,7 Lib Dems) have links to private healthcare interests including David Cameron PM and Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary. it also shows since the NHS Act (2012) 70% of tendered contracts have been awarded to the private sector (£13b of NHS spending). So all you co-Lefties out there have 2 choices (a) shout it from the roof tops! (b) Attack Labour!

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