BMA council chairman Hamish Meldrum has warned MPs that the government’s health reforms continue to put the NHS at risk.
In a letter to all MPs, Dr Meldrum claims the plans outlined in the Health and Social Care Bill present an ‘unacceptably high risk to the NHS, threatening its ability to operate effectively and equitably, now and in the future’.
The bill is due to enter its report stage when the Commons returns after its summer break next week, followed by its third reading. It will then move to the Lords.
Ban the bill
Dr Meldrum tells MPs that the BMA still believes the bill should be withdrawn or, at the very least, be subject to further substantial amendments despite the government’s efforts to address some of the concerns through the NHS Future Forum earlier this year.
He says there continues to be an inappropriate and misguided reliance on market forces to shape services in England, with the bill embedding ‘a more central role for choice without a full consideration of the consequences’.
He adds this has the ‘potential to destabilise local health economies’. Dr Meldrum also says that ‘insufficient thought has been applied to the unintended knock-on effects and long-term consequences of proposals in the bill’, for example on medical education and training and on public health.
Cause for alarm
The BMA is particularly concerned about:
Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45