Caroline Lucas is calling on MPs to back her cross party NHS Reinstatement Bill which comes to the House of Commons on Friday.I hope to see all three of Brent's Labour MPs backing the Bill
Ask your MP to back to the bill: HERE
The bill was supported by Jeremy Corbyn before he became leader of the Labour Party, and it is being backed in Parliament by the Scottish National Party and many individual MPs. The Labour Party has not yet made a public statement on it, but they are under pressure from health unions, grassroots NHS campaigns and tens of thousands of people who have emailed MPs asking them to back to the bill
To guarantee that the NHS Reinstatement Bill is heard 100 MPs must be present in Parliament to bring about a vote on the Bill being debated before - that is why it is imperative that Barry Gardiner, Dawn Butler and Tulip Siddiq turn up to 'Back the Bill
Caroline Lucas, who tabled the cross-party NHS Reinstatement Bill, said:
This Friday MPs have a chance to show their commitment to our NHS. The NHS needs Labour to back this Bill. It’s the best chance we’ve got to bring people’s anger about what’s happening to our NHS into Parliament – and to then move towards reversing the failed privatisation experiment.
Across the country we’re seeing people making a stand against the ongoing marketization of our health service. The NHS is saddled with a wasteful internal market, and increasingly widespread outsourcing of services to the private sector. When you add this privatisation to the near-constant Government attacks on the NHS workforce, including forcing junior doctors to strike again today, you can see why so many people are supporting the NHS Bill.
The NHS bill would put the public back at the heart of the health service. MPs now have a chance to put their commitment to a public NHS into action by backing this bill on 11 March.
If we work together we can save our crisis ridden health service for future generations.
The NHS Reinstatement Bill would reverse the creeping marketisation of the health service and reinstate the NHS based on its founding principles – putting the public back at the heart of the health service. In practical terms that means simplifying the health service and removing the unnecessary complication introduced in 1991 (and reinforced in recent years) which fragmented the NHS by forcing services to go into competition with each other to win contracts.
The Bill would bring back health boards who would look at what services are needed in each local area and then provide them. The Bill also reinstates the Health Secretary’s duty to provide services throughout England - which was severed in the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.
The point in the last sentence is surely the most important. It was slipped through by Hunt's slightly less obnoxious but possibly even more incompetent predecessor, and gets the secretary for health out of responsibility for people's health. Really! Apart from the inherent absurdity of this, it allows other bodies to be responsible for our health instead. Like Care UK, for example. Or various private American operators. Or G4S. Or Tesco. Or Halfords maybe. Or Pets R Us.
It's unbelievable that Labour isn't demanding that its MPs support this bill. Especially when they want people's votes in the local elections. Or the mayoral one.
As I commented on an earlier blog on the subject of this NHS Bill, I did send an email to Barry Gardiner asking him to attend Parliament for the second reading, and to support this proposed legislation. He sent me an email reply at 13.15 today, saying:-
'I very much regret that due to existing constituency commitments, I will be unable to be present. I am holding one of my regular surgeries for constituents this Friday, but I thought it would be helpful if I set out my views on the Bill.'
I have checked, and Barry Gardiner MP does hold a regular "Surgery" at Brent Civic Centre on the second Friday of each month, although it is by appointment only, so that it would probably have been possible for him to have arranged to attend the second reading, and still see any constituents who wished to meet him tomorrow.
Barry Gardiner did set out, in some detail, his views on the Bill, which include the following:-
'I am supportive of the overall objectives of the Bill. In particular, I support the principles behind duties outlined in Clause 1 of the proposed Bill – namely restoring accountability to the Secretary of State for the delivery of health services and the requirement that a comprehensive health service continues to be provided free of charge at the point of use.
The encroaching privatisation of the NHS must be halted and decisions about NHS services should never be called into question by any international treaties or agreements, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).'
There are other parts of the Bill which he does not support, and would wish to see changed (at Committee stage) - but if Barry and his Labour colleagues do support a fundamental issue in this Bill, why are they not attending the second reading to try to ensure that it has a chance of becoming law? How else can 'the encroaching privatisation of the NHS' be halted?
Thanks Philip, I have had the same response and will post it up in full later.
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