Andrew George – Health Warning: Health Bill Could Seriously Damage the NHS
With a week to go before the MPs commence the last Commons debate on the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill, leading Liberal Democrat critic, Andrew George MP, is warning his colleagues of the damage it will do to the NHS.
Mr George – a member of the Health Select Committee – who will hold a public meeting about the Bill in his constituency this evening (31st August 2011) will be proposing a raft of amendments which seek to counter what he sees as the risk of a health service “driven more by private profit than by concern about patient care”.
Mr George said, “The Bill breaks the Coalition Agreement, is based upon a false claim that the NHS performs poorly in comparison with health systems across Europe and represents the biggest upheaval of the NHS in its history at precisely the time it needs stability and certainty.
“The Bill runs the high risk of producing a national health service which is driven more by private profit than by concern about patient care; risks undermining emergency services through the fragmentation of health systems; is a major missed opportunity to produce a health service that is more accountable to the patients and communities it serves; and fails to do what really needs to be done, i.e. streamline the pathways between health and social care.”