No Health Bill is better than a bad one

Posted on: 6th February 2012

Andrew George MP – a Liberal Democrat member of the Health Select Committee – has again today called on the Ministers to shelve the Government’s controversial Health & Social Care Bill.

A recent Select Committee report concluded the Government’s Bill is likely to hinder the NHS’s ability to achieve the efficiency gains of £20billion by 2014 which had been set by the previous Government.

Simultaneous with the report’s publication a number of leading medical organisations including the Royal Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery, and the British Medical Association publically declared their opposition to the Bill and expressed the growing concern amongst health professionals about the negative impacts of the proposed changes.

Mr George has consistently opposed the Bill since it was published as a White Paper in summer 2010. He has repeatedly challenged the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP, and the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP and called on them to ‘kill the bill’.

Mr George said:

“Of course I acknowledge there may be some disruption if the Government drops the Bill. But there’ll be far greater and lasting disruption and risk if they don’t.

“No Bill is better than a bad one. If the Lords believe that the best they can do is to make the Bill less bad then I’m afraid that won’t be good enough. The Bill unconvincingly limped through each stage of scrutiny and debate so far. It has only survived on the basis that the concerns I and others have raised would be dealt with at the next stage. Well, we’re now in the last chance saloon. It would be better to kill the Bill off than to let it limp on to wreak catastrophe throughout the NHS.”