I am very happy to confirm that I will be in Parliament this Friday to support Clive Efford MP on an issue that is very dear to my heart.
The NHS and Social Care Act, brought in by this government, has been an expensive, bureaucratic nightmare- and one that even they are now believed to be regretting. I opposed and voted against this Act at the time, however, as I feared it would make the NHS more fragmented, that it would set up the NHS to operate as a full-scale unrestrained market, and that it would lead to a 'postcode lottery' emerging with widespread variation in local NHS treatments.
A future Labour Government will repeal the Health and Social Care Act, reinstate the NHS as the preferred provider and raise £2.5 billion for an NHS 'Time to Care' Fund by clamping down on tax avoidance, raising revenue from tobacco companies and introducing charges on ‘prime value' properties worth over £2 million.
The NHS Reinstatement Bill campaign rightly highlights the full scale of the pressures currently facing the NHS and I agree that the future of our NHS must be at the forefront of the debate in the run up to the General Election. I also agree that the competition regime introduced by the Government's Health and Social Care Act is a barrier to sensible collaboration within the NHS and is diverting resources which should be better spent on improving patient care. This Bill would repeal the Government's section 75 regulations and free the NHS from the morass of competition law that has been introduced by the current Government. I believe it will also help restore the right values to the NHS by putting patients' needs before profits.
So, yes, I will be in Parliament on Friday to support this important piece of legislation, and I will be putting the NHS at the heart of my campaigning over the coming months.
Karen Buck MP