Monday 5 December 2011

Why Friday the 13th January will be a nightmare for David Cameron

Bevan’s Run will pass through Witney on Friday 13th of Jan 2012. This is an ideal opportunity to pile the pressure on David Cameron, who is ultimately responsible for the Health and Social Care Bill. Despite all the controversy over the reforms, he has publicly backed Mr Lansley.
The Health and Social Care Bill has become the new poll tax for the Conservative Party. They have re-toxified themselves on the NHS and are terrified that the public will find out about their privatisation agenda. They have handled this situation by taking a position of repeated denials of NHS privatisation on the premise that if you say something enough times, people will acually start to believe you. These denials have come from Andrew LansleyNick Clegg and of course Mr Cameron.
In fact, Mr Cameron recently stated on BBC News that “there is no privatisation taking place”
Please note in the clip that he also used term “customers” instead of “patients”!
Furthermore, in his recent speech on exporting and growth on November 10th, he went off message and stated “From the Health Secretary, I don’t just want to know about waiting times. I want to know how we drive the NHS to be a fantastic business for Britain.”

The Department of Health website also states that “Health Minsters have said they will never privatise the NHS”. Moreover, the Government response to the Future Forum report, states it will rule out “any question of privatisation” and on page 43 there is a subheading entitled “Ruling out privatisation”

As I have recently explained in a BMJ article, Mr Cameron and the Government are misleading the public because privatisation is an inevitable consequence of the reforms. Independent legal opinion also supports this notion. There is also solid evidence that the reforms will lead to NHS asset stripping.  This is all in keeping with Government supplyside policy to replace large swathes of the public sector with the private sector. Dr Max Pemberton, columnist from the Telegraph, gives another good example here.

The Bill may be completely incoherent from a health policy perspective, but it makes perfect sense if privatisation is a key priority. This is a key reason why Mr Lansley wants to "abdicate" his repsonsibilites as Secretary of State for Health, because public provision and commissioning of services will be increasing taken over by the private sector and it will be the economic regulator (ie Monitor) that oversees this.  

The evidence that Mr Cameron and the coailtion government are misleading the public about NHS privatization is overwhelming and they need to be exposed on this issue.
So on Friday the 13th of January 2012 when Bevan's Run (hopefully) reaches Witney, I will stop off to give a public speech to the local people to explain how their MP is privatising the NHS. I hope this event can be turned into a demonstration with the help of NHS campaigners joining in to fill Witney town centre.
I will be also be delivering a postcard from Bevan’s statue to David Cameron’s constituency office explaining how the bill will increasingly privatise the NHS and that therefore the bill must be withdrawn because there is no democratic mandate for such action.

I therefore call on NHS workers and members of the public to help make Friday the 13th a nightmare for Mr Cameron and the Coalition government by exposing their misleading denials about NHS privatisation. 

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