Campaigners take to Buxton streets to highlight threat of NHS privatisation in new Government Bill
Campaigners took to the streets of Buxton last weekend to build support against a new piece of Government legislation which they say will expose the NHS to further privatisation.
The Keep Our NHS Public group handed out 300 hundred leaflets and spent two hours in Spring Gardens on Saturday, July 17, talking to passers-by about the Health and Care Bill.
The Bill was debated in Parliament for the first time on July 14, with the Government saying it will help to integrate health and social care services by reducing bureaucratic barriers between GPs, hospitals, and community services, and undoing organisational reforms imposed by Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley in 2012.
However, opposition parties and many outside of Westminster see the move as the next step in a ‘corporate takeover’ of the NHS by allowing private companies to sit on the board of new local planning bodies and for contracts to be awarded without a competitive tendering process.
More than 55,000 people have already signed a petition against the Bill which was started by a GP associated with Keep Our NHS Public.
A representative for the Buxton branch said: “Healthcare organisations have spoken out against the proposed bill, arguing that the midst of a pandemic is the wrong time to be reorganising the NHS. The bill exposes the NHS to further privatisation with the possibility of commercial companies wielding influence over commissioning decisions.
“It also fails to address chronic workforce shortages and does nothing at all to address the needs of social care.”
The Bill is expected to get its second reading in Parliament following the summer recess.