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Labour's policy on the NHS should be to support the NHS Reinstatement Bill




 (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.

You can find more detail about this on the website of one of its co-authors, Professor Allyson Pollock, Professor of Public Health Research and Policy, at this link:

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commented 2016-03-21 18:54:12 +0000
The failure of the Parliamentary Labour Party to support the NHS Reinstatement Bill in the Commons recently was very disappointing. Very few Labour MPs even bothered to turn up for the debate and the Tories’ filibustering succeeded in reducing debate to only 17 minutes. Heidi Alexander apparently feels that the Bill would cause another top-down reorganisation that would be unacceptable. Having worked most of my life in the NHS, I think she is wrong. Most people working for the NHS would welcome a return to a fully publicly-run NHS. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell voted for the Bill when it was introduced to parliament last year. It is time for them to stand up to those members of the Shadow Cabinet who are not supporting them. Piecemeal opposition to the step-by-step dismantling and privatisation of our NHS did not win us the last election. What is needed is a positive alternative that would gain the public’s support. The NHS Reinstatement Bill offers just that. As well as ending dangerous and unaccountable privatisation it would remove its attendant bureaucracy and yield billions of pounds to be spent where really needed. Labour Party members need to put pressure on the Parliamentary LP to raise their game on the NHS with the positive alternative that the NHS Reinstatement Bill represents.
commented 2015-12-10 11:31:34 +0000
Why has the Labour Party gone quiet about the NHS in England? The issue of the dismantling of the English NHS needs to remain one of high priority among opposition MPs. Come on, Heidi Alexander, as Shadow Health Secretary we need to hear hear some strong words from you! Let’s hear your support for the NHS Reinstatement Bill.
commented 2015-12-06 13:49:56 +0000
I agree that the Reinstatement Bill offers the best hope for the NHS and I hope that an arrangement can be found with the Greens so that our efforts are combined in campaigning for this.
commented 2015-12-06 13:21:59 +0000
I agree with all the points in this Bill. I would go a step further and suggest the NHS is too important to be a political football. It should be above party politics and governed by a cross party board. That way it will be protected no matter which party is in government.

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