An urgent bid to stop the Government from forcing through privatisation of the National Health Service has been launched today, after new regulations published under the Health Bill revealed the extent of plans to commercialise British health services.
Earlier this month, the Government published regulations under Section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act which create requirements for virtually all commissioning done by the National Commissioning Board (NCB) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be carried out through competitive markets.
Despite assurances from Ministers that the NHS Bill, which has attracted huge opposition from the medical profession and the public, would not bring about privatisation, this secondary regulation means that services will be tendered out and advertised to private bidders.
A prayer tabled by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas in Parliament today – like an Early Day Motion – represents the last chance for MPs to force a debate on these regulations before they pass into law on April 1st.
Accusing the Government of "disgraceful duplicity" over the plans to restructure the NHS, Caroline Lucas MP said:
"The Section 75 regulations prove beyond any doubt that the Coalition Government is determined to force through the reckless privatisation of this country’s most valued institution.
"When the NHS Bill was going through Parliament, we were assured time and time again that local people would have the final say in who provided their NHS services.
"Yet this secondary legislation completely contradicts those assurances, spelling out in no uncertain terms the intention to open up virtually all health services to private bidders in a market supervised by Monitor.
"All MPs who feel strongly about safeguarding the future of the NHS and wish to represent their constituents’ concerns about the impact of healthcare privatisation should add their names to the prayer today.
"If enough Members seize this eleventh-hour opportunity to take a stand against the Government’s disgraceful regulations, we still have a chance of keeping our vital NHS services in public hands."