February 28, 2012
The British Medical Association has launched an e-lobbying campaign for members to contact Members of Parliament before further debate in March in the House of Commons on the proposed Health and Social Care Bill. Opposition to the reforms among medical royal colleges and faculties is growing. Health workers fear that the bill will lead to a disorganised national health system, with increased health inequalities, more bureaucracy and wasted public funds. Opposers include various professional bodies of radiologists, nurses, midwives, general practitioners and physiotherapists. Individual doctors have also written letters to the government calling for the bill to be scrapped. A rally has been organised by the All Together for the NHS (National Health Service) Campaign, representing unions, professional bodies, patients and the public opposed to the Health and Social Care Bill. The event is at 6pm on March 7, Central Hall, Westminster, London.
Recent amendments to the Bill have not done enough to address the underlying problems with the Health and Social Care Bill, the BMA warned earlier this month. The Bill is currently being reviewed in the House of Lords and will be discussed in the House of Commons in March. Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of the BMA Council, said: “We recognise that some of the amendments recently set down by the Government suggest modest improvements in some areas, such as integration, training and education and giving patients a greater say in their health care. But these do little to address the issues which continue to cause us great concern, for example: an over reliance on ‘market forces’ remains at the core of the Bill, there is excessive control over commissioning groups, plans for incentives for commissioning are ill-thought through, and proposals to give hospitals more scope to generate income from private patients pose serious risks.”
One of the concerns voiced by the BMA on its website is that
The latest BMA briefing to peers can be read here