BMA to debate whether NHS crisis 'consciously created' by government

The BMA is set to debate whether the crisis in the NHS has been created deliberately by the government to justify a transformation and privatisation agenda.

BMA headquarters, Tavistock Square (Photo: JH Lancy)
BMA headquarters, Tavistock Square (Photo: JH Lancy)

Union representatives from across the UK will gather in Bournemouth on Monday 26 June for the BMA’s annual representative meeting (ARM).

The conference will kick off with a motion that calls the government’s austerity policy the ‘greatest threat to quality and safety in the NHS’. The proposal, to be moved by the BMA's Edgware and Hendon division, adds: ‘The crisis in NHS hospitals has been consciously created by the government, in order to accelerate its transformation plans for private sector takeover of healthcare in England.'

The motion further accuses the government of scapegoating the NHS in a ‘deliberate attempt to distract the public from an under-funded service under severe and intense strain’.

The conference will also hear calls for GP practices to be able to declare 'black alerts' indicating that they are under extreme pressure, as hospitals currently can.

NHS services

Later on Monday, BMA representatives will discuss a proposal from the union's Scottish council calling on governments and NHS leaders to have an ‘open dialogue’ with the public about what services the NHS should provide for the funding available ‘and what services can no longer be provided by the NHS’.

A motion from the London Regional Council calls for the ‘restoration of the duty of provision of universal healthcare to the secretary of state for health’.

Doctors will debate a call for a ‘period of stability’ in the NHS, free from further reorganisation for the sake of staff morale and to allow them to focus on patient care.

A motion from the Scunthorpe division will call on the government to introduce a basic health service supplemented with top-up fees.

Doctors at the BMA conference will also debate on the first day of the four-day conference motions on medical involvement in service design, patient crowdfunding for wheelchairs and NHS England plans to restrict prescriptions for over-the-counter medicines.

Commenting on the suggestion that ministers had deliberately triggered the NHS crisis, a DH spokeswoman said: 'This motion sadly has no relationship with reality – while of course there are pressures on the front line, the government has invested record funding in the NHS, and thanks to the hard work of staff public satisfaction is now the highest it has been in all but three of the last 20 years.'

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