Letter: We need a better bill
The new Health and Care Bill came before Parliament last week and will be further debated after the summer recess.
It is vital the public understands its implications and make their views known to Robert Largan MP during the next few weeks.
The bill, which applies just to England, is more than 250 pages long, but several pressure groups, including Keep Our NHS Public and We Own It, are doing their best to make the implications clear.
The bill divides the whole of England into 42 integrated care systems, each run by a board which will have just one local authority representative, and will include executives from private companies (such as Virgin, Centene or Operose). The boards will be responsible for decisions on how to spend the NHS budget.
The bill aims to cut the cost of care while handing profits to the private sector. It will do nothing to reduce waiting lists or the backlog of referrals caused by the pandemic nor rationing of treatments, staff shortages, or lack of funding for public health measures to prevent ill health.
It has no proposals or funding to improve social care or co-ordination between health and social care. I believe the bill opens the door to more cronyism.
The country both wants and deserves a high quality, well funded, public NHS, available freely to all. This bill takes us in completely the wrong direction.
Susan Read (Dr)
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