5 July 2011
July 5th is the 63rd birthday of the National Health Service and the revised Health Bill going through parliament means the end of the NHS as we all know it. Today, Greens and trade unionists will march on Parliament (assembling at 530pm, Savoy St, London) to demand an end to the proposed privatisation of the NHS.
Stuart Jeffrey, the Green Party's national Health Spokesperson said:
"At 63, the NHS should be in the prime of its life, enjoying the fruits of clinical maturity and basking in the glory of a world class service. Sadly the NHS is under attack by the Tories and Lib Dems like never before. As it tries to celebrate its 63rd birthday the new Health and Social Care bill promises to privatise services and turn the National Health Service into a National Health Insurance scheme."
Jeffrey continued: "Despite rhetoric by Cameron and Lansley suggesting the NHS will not be privatised or subject to increased competition, along with claims of saving the NHS by Clegg, the new Health Bill is no different to the first one. Privatisation will follow competition as the buzzwords of the NHS at 70.
Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party and MP for Brighton Pavilion, commented:
"Labour cannot now mount a principled defence of the NHS since, when they were in power, they welcomed in private healthcare providers and saddled the NHS with huge debts through PFI schemes. Labour started the ball rolling on a transition towards NHS privatisation - now the Tory-led government is taking us ever further down that road".
"Not only does Lansley's bill destroy the fabric of what should be the pinnacle of public service, but his bill absolves him of responsibility for it. His duty to provide medical services, which was enshrined in the 1946 NHS Act, will be scrapped under his new bill. Government should not shirk its responsibility for providing health care. This would be an appalling dereliction of duty.
"These are not good birthday presents for the NHS."