Health unions urge MPs to scrap Health Bill ahead of Commons debate

By Abi Rimmer, 13 March 2012

Four major health unions have called on MPs to withdraw the Health Bill, ahead of a debate in the Commons.

Dr Meldrum: 'It is time for parliamentarians to put aside party politics, listen to the concerns of almost everyone working in the NHS and withdraw this Bill'

Dr Meldrum: 'It is time for parliamentarians to put aside party politics, listen to the concerns of almost everyone working in the NHS and withdraw this Bill'

The BMA, the Royal College of Midwives, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have all called on MPs to listen to their concerns about the Bill.

The Bill will be discussed in the Commons today as part of a Labour opposition day debate. MPs will vote on Greater Manchester GP Dr Kailash Chand’s e-petition to scrap the Bill.

BMA chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said it was not to late for MPs to ‘do the right thing’ and withdraw the Bill.

Dr Meldrum said: ‘It is time for parliamentarians to put aside party politics, listen to the concerns of almost everyone working in the NHS and withdraw this Bill.  

‘We have pledged to work constructively to develop an alternative – one that has the buy-in of NHS workers and one that will improve rather than wreck the NHS.’

The fellow unions expressed similar concerns and warned that the Bill would lead to fragmented care and privatisation.

RCN chief executive Dr Peter Carter said: ‘The consequences on the ground will be massive, and we now need to focus on how care can best be delivered for patients.

'If the Bill is withdrawn, the RCN pledges to working constructively on an alternative which will meet the pressing needs without jeopardising the health service of the future.’

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