(Junior Doctors' flashmob in Westminster - watch the whole video on YouTube)
As a retired GP I am very concerned about the privatisation and dismantling of the NHS that is now taking place. The responsibility of the Secretary of State for Health for a comprehensive health service has been removed and rationing of those services that remain “free” will accelerate. The most effective way of protecting and improving our NHS is to support the NHS Reinstatement Bill. It was introduced to the House of Commons earlier this year by Caroline Lucas, with cross-party support of MPs, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell. It has the support of BMA and the many campaigning groups for the NHS.
The main points are that it would restore government responsibility for a comprehensive health service and, crucially, abolish the internal market introduced by Thatcher in 1990, and thereby remove privatisation. I believe it is now vital to ensure that support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill becomes the official Labour Party policy. It is a straightforward, easy to understand rebuttal of what the government is doing to the NHS and will be popular with the public if simply and repeatedly presented. The Labour Party needs to campaign for this as a clear alternative to the damaging fragmentation, costs and lack of accountability that privatisation is causing. In addition to the many benefits of this Bill it would drastically reduce the administrative costs of a marketised health service and make this money available where it is needed.