Why NHS campaigners oppose the privatisers’ NHS Commission Bill

Plain Speaker would urge everyone campaigning to save our A&Es in Calderdale and Huddersfield to beware of this NHS & Social Care Commission Bill and not to give it your support.

Many NHS campaigners across the country are signing a public letter stating that we are extremely concerned that the Bill for the Commission is misleading at best, and deceitful at worst. We urge MPs who have the interests of the public, rather than the vested interests of the private health sector, as their main concern, to refuse support for this Commission.

You can sign the letter.  When you sign by making a comment on the facebook statement, please state: what campaign/s you are a part of, if you have a specific/leading role in the campaign/s and whether you’re authorised to sign on behalf of the campaign.

If you’re not on facebook, you can email nekobleko@hotmail.com Please put “against Commission on the NHS and Social Care” in the subject line.

This Thursday, 28th January 2016, the House of Commons will discuss this Private Member’s Bill which has already had its first reading and a debate in the House of Lords.

The Bill has been proposed by Norman Lamb MP (LD) ex-Health Minister in the Coalition Government which created the Health & Social Care Act (2012). It is supported by Stephen Dorrell (ex Cons MP), who caused a scandal as Health Minister for the Coalition in accepting an appointment with KPMG, along with former New Labour Health Secretary Alan Milburn, who is Chair of the European Board of the private health and social care company Care UK. (This company had the contract for walk in centres in Todmorden and Park Ward, Halifax, and handed it back when it couldn’t make a profit). Alan Milburn is also an adviser to PWC. (He is also the guy responsible for setting the Calderdale Royal Hospital PFI deal, from when he was the New Labour Health Minister – although Cllr Tim Swift says it was Frank Dobson who was Sec of State for Health when the contract was signed in 1999.)

The Bill’s apparent aim is to take a neutral stance on the NHS and aim for cross party consensus. But in the current political climate and with these champions for its cause I and many other NHS campaigners and activists feel this is far more likely to be a move towards validating calls for charges and co-payments, which the government dare not propose directly itself.

Time after time Royal Commissions and international comparisons have shown that public health systems are cheaper, more cost effective and deliver better care than privately provided ones. Only a return to a fully publicly funded, owned, managed and accountable comprehensive health service will restore the public trust in the NHS and our political system.


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