University and Colleges Union
The ConDem Government has got its Health & Social Care Bill through the House of Commons.
We need an NHS free from privatisation, but this Bill wants more private sector involvement.
* The Bill will open up the NHS to EU competition law. Rather than the NHS providing a unified, comprehensive service for all, the ConDem Bill says “any qualified provider” can provide each service – in other words, private companies. This will make the NHS operate more on the American private-insurance model where the young and fit can get health insurance – at a price. (Older people and those of us with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, are not profitable for private health companies.)
* The Bill also removes the cap on how many hospital beds can be used for private patients.
* The Bill wants the Secretary of State for Health to merely “promote” health services. We want the Minister to continue to provide our health service.
Even before the Bill has officially only passed through the House of Commons, the Government is already ploughing ahead with more private companies involvement. (They are able to do this because the Blair Government already introduced privatisation into our NHS rather than increase the tax burden on the rich.)
But, if you want to stop this dangerous Bill getting passed the House of Lords (so that it becomes law), there is something you can still do.
The Lords can amend the Bill in many ways. Some members of the Lords, such as Dame Shirley Williams, have already spoken out against the Bill. But as the Lords is not an elected Chamber, they have no constituents to lobby them as MPs have.
But a letter from an ordinary citizen, like you, could – if enough people do it.
The TUC has a website which will allocate you a Lord to write to. The Bill comes to the Lords on October 6th – so find a Lord to lobby now! www.goingtowork.org.uk/peers/ (Address: House of Lords, Houses of Parliament, London SW1)
(I was allocated a Lord, wrote to him to say why I was against the main points of the Bill and received a sympathetic letter back more quickly than my MP has ever managed! Ask your friends/community group/TU Branch members)