John Healey MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, in a speech to the Royal Society of Medicine today challenged David Cameron to drop the Health and Social Care Bill and fundamentally re-write his plans, saying:
"David Cameron made another “I love the NHS” speech last week. He pledged no privatisation, no cherrypicking from private providers, no new charges for healthcare services, no competition for its own sake.
"But this is exactly what his NHS plans and legislation are designed to do.
"If he means what he says. If he means to keep these latest NHS promises, he must drop his health bill and fundamentally rewrite his plans. If he won’t, then people will have a right to conclude that they can’t trust the Tories with our NHS."
Labour today has published the 40 amendments it will submit, should the Health and Social Care Bill return to Parliament, following the Tory-led Government’s so called ‘listening exercise’.
John Healey said:
“Yesterday I tabled a recommittal motion for the Health and Social Care Bill to go back to square one for fresh scrutiny in the Commons. This is a first in nearly a decade. And I hope the Government will accept the constitutional case and support our Labour motion.
"Today, I will table and publish the amendments that we think are required as a minimum, to protect the health service and allow clinicians and patients to meet the challenges that the NHS faces today.
"These are all arguments and amendments that Labour has been pressing from the start, amendments that have been rejected by the Government so far.
"A total of 40 amendments, over 14 pages: to safeguard the “N” in the NHS; to strengthen accountability to the public and to Parliament for vital decisions about services and spending £80 billion of taxpayers’ money; and to stop the government making our NHS into a free market."
In response to Nick Clegg's speech this morning, John Healey said:
“I welcome Nick Clegg backing Labour’s motion to send the Health and Social Care Bill back to the House of Commons to re-run its committee stage.
“The Government’s plans for the NHS need to be radically re-thought. If fundamental changes are going to be made to the legislation, they need full and proper scrutiny in Parliament.”