Health Bill will kill modern medicine, Lord Owen warns

The best of Hippocratic medicine will 'die' if Health Bill reforms are implemented, Liberal Democrat peer Lord Owen has warned.

Lord Owen warned that the Health Bill marked ‘the end of the NHS as conceived in 1948’.
Lord Owen warned that the Health Bill marked ‘the end of the NHS as conceived in 1948’.

Qualified doctor and former Labour health secretary Lord Owen said the Bill would destroy the ‘one-on-one doctor/patient relationship that underpinned Hippocratic medicine’.

In a speech to the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, Lord Owen described the Bill as ‘flawed’ and warned that it marked ‘the end of the NHS as conceived in 1948’.

Lord Owen said it was doctors’ responsibility to ‘champion the vocational and ethical elements that make healthcare very different from the utilities’.

He warned that government plans to merge internal and external markets would fundamentally alter the NHS.

‘Their aim is explicit in this Bill launched in 2010 – that the NHS will be a state insurance provider, not a state deliverer,’ Lord Owen said.

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