Medway Should Worry About the Bill…..and the Cost!

Trish Marchant says: This week, all over the UK, local anti-cuts organisations, unions and community groups have been campaigning against the NHS reforms currently being debated in Parliament.

In Medway today (7th Sept) the local anti-cuts group MAC (Medway Against the Cuts) supported by Medway Green Party were outside Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham collecting signatures for the “Save the NHS” petition and handing out leaflets to visitors, patients and staff.

A MAC spokes said  “We are campaigning against Government plans that will break up the NHS and allow private companies to take over NHS services. The Government is planning to get rid of Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and put groups of GPs in charge of purchasing care from private companies and public health care providers. This is in spite of the majority of health care professionals raising concerns about the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill. We have had a lot of support today, people are worried.”

In response to lobbying, the Government has back-tracked on some aspects of the plans but most of the original proposals still remain in place. One of the many concerns is that the private health providers will not be subject to the same public scrutiny as the NHS is and currently are not required to respond to freedom of information requests unlike public sector bodies.

MAC member Trish Marchant added “We have been campaigning for the last year against the cuts to public sector funding and have been running our local Save the NHS petition for many weeks. We are planning to present our petition to our local MP shortly and it will be added to the hundreds of thousands of signatures being collected up and down the country protesting against a rushed and ill-thought out bill. We believe The NHS should be based on high quality patient care, not market principles and private profits with little public access to performance information”

The Health and Social Care Bill returned to the House of Commons on 6th and 7th September for the Report Stage and Third Reading. This is when MPs vote on the amendments and vote the Bill through (or not) before it goes to the House of Lords.

Medway Against the Cuts have a Facebook page and the Keep the NHS Public  website http://www.keepournhspublic.com/index.php

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