Wednesday, September 07, 2011

...the end of the NHS as we know it...

This evening there was a candle vigil outside the House of Commons to draw attention to the potential
destruction of the NHS by this Tory led government. In particular the removal of the private patient cap and the threat of privatisation.

The Health and Social Care Bill was given its 3rd reading and will now go on to the House of Lords. UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis had warned Lib Dem MP's that by voting for this bill they will find their party out of power for a

"Our candlelight vigil marks the end of the NHS as we know it.

“Despite the denials, this government is throwing the door wide open to private companies, who will cherry pick profitable parts of our NHS, and make a fortune. We know that talks have already taken place with a German firm company about running 10-20 NHS hospitals".

I missed the vigil since by coincidence, I was chairing a meeting of my Branch Labour Link members at the Commons with shadow Labour Housing Minister, Alison Seabeck MP and UNISON National Officer Mike Short (I will post on this meeting later).  She had to dash out of the meeting for 10 minutes in order to go and vote against the Bill.  Afterwards, on the way out at the foot of the stairs from the committee rooms, we passed the statue head of the NHS founder, Aneurin Bevan.   I was reminded once again of his argument that "The NHS will last as long as there are folk with the faith to fight for it".

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