Jeremy Corbyn victory could boost BMA campaign against NHS marketisation

New Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn's pledge to reverse the marketisation of the health service if elected prime minister has been backed by NHS campaigners and could bring the party closer in line with BMA policy.

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour leader's anti-market stance chimes with BMA policy
Jeremy Corbyn: Labour leader's anti-market stance chimes with BMA policy

Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn, who won a landslide victory on Saturday, has said Labour should end the internal market and abolish privatisation of the NHS.

The BMA is calling for the removal of market competition in healthcare as part of its No More Games campaign. Delegates at the BMA annual representative meeting have strongly backed demands to 'bring services delivered by private providers back into NHS provision' and abolish the purchaser-provider split that underpins the health service market system.

On Sunday Mr Corbyn appointed Heidi Alexander, MP for Lewisham East and a leading member of the successful campaign against the downgrading of local hospital services, as shadow health secretary. Ms Alexander was a supporter of former health minister and shadow health spokesman Andy Burnham, who was beaten into second place by Mr Corbyn. Mr Burnham has been appointed shadow home secretary.

Mr Corbyn spent his first morning as Labour leader visiting a local NHS mental health trust in his Islington constituency.

NHS marketisation

The NHS Supporters Federation welcomed Mr Corbyn’s NHS commitments and his support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill to remove market mechanisms from the service.

BMA Council member and chairwoman of the campaign for the NHS Reinstatement Bill, Professor Allyson Pollock said: ‘It is encouraging to hear the new Labour leader make the removal of the internal and external market from the NHS a top priority.

‘It has consistently undermined the core principles of the NHS over the last 25 years. Scotland and Wales have abolished the internal market and restored the NHS whereas in England the Health and Social Care Act 2012 abolished the NHS as a truly national integrated universal service.'

She added: ‘Marketisation must be reversed if the NHS is to be true to its founding vision and the duty on the health secretary to secure and provide an NHS must be restored.’

Photo: Mark Thomas/REX

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