Health Bill is a threat to a free, public NHS: An open letter from a
I am involved in the campaign against Tory Minister Andrew Lansley’s
Health and Social Care Bill, specifically in relation to the removal
of the Secretary of State for Health's legal 'duty to provide' a
comprehensive health service. Our objective is to stop the bill.
It has widely been reported by the press that there
has been a U-turn by the government in relation to this legislation.
This is not true. This misreporting has been largely down to poor,
lazy journalism and very clever spin by the government. The wording of
all NHS Acts from 1946-2006 contained clear and unambiguous clauses
requiring the Secretary of Health to provide comprehensive services,
free at the point of access, to all residents of the UK. The new bill
with amendments does not and is so ambiguous as to make this very
unclear. The likely consequences will be that we face an
'Americanisation' of health services which will begin charging for
some procedures, these charges will steadily spread and increase just
as in social care and older people services. In addition we will all
be required to get our own private health insurance to cover the
growing costs-this is already being floated by a Tory think tank.
Thursday's meeting of the Public Bill Committee will be scrutinising
the new amendments and may be important in terms of retaining the duty
to provide and some key decisions may be taken.
It would be useful if you and as many people as possible could
email the committee and to ask for no change to the wording of the
relevant parts of the 2006 NHS Act, this needs to happen by close of
Wednesday. I have contained a standard wording which can be downloaded
here but feel free to put this in any
form you wish, more variation the better. Please send to
email@example.com and if
possible forward to anyone else you think may support this campaign.
If you want to find out more about our campaign and the background
including a legal opinion on the above please visit