The National Health Action party, set up to work against the destruction of the NHS, has welcomed Lord David Owen’s NHS 'Re-instatement' Bill.
Their co-leader, Dr Clive Peedell (who is also co-chair of the NHS Consultants Association, on the BMA Council, and a consultant oncologist), said today that the party has decided to campaign for the Bill to be enacted. It will form part of their election manifesto, NHA has announced.
Professor Clare Gerada, chair of the influential Royal College of General Practitioners, has also come out in favour of the Bill (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17898).
At the heart of Lord Owen’s National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill is the proposal to restore the legal basis for a universal, free at point-of-use and comprehensive NHS, for which the Secretary of State is directly responsible.
This Bill will reverse the most damaging aspects of the Government’s 2012 legislation, which was designed to increase the marketisation, privatisation and rationing of healthcare in England.
Owen's Bill will not require another “top-down re-organisation” of the NHS, but it will reinstate the responsibility of the Secretary of State to provide universal health care, keeping the NHS true to its founding principles.
"We therefore call on all the main political parties who claim to support the NHS, to back this Bill," the National Health Action party says.
Lord David Owen now sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords. He controversially broke away from the Labour Party to found the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which eventually merged with the old Liberal Party to become the Liberal Democrats - now in coalition with the Conservatives, and enabling them to push forward their drastic NHS changes.
Owen, who is a doctor himself, served as a Labour British Foreign Secretary from 1977 to 1979, and was the youngest person in over forty years to hold the post.
He recently joined tens of thousands of people on a second 'Save Lewisham Hospital' demonstration in London. The campaign is seen as pivotal in challenging cuts and changes facing the NHS in England and Wales.
* Lord Owen’s National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill (Word *.docx document)
* Lord Owen’s briefing (Word *.docx document)
* Explanatory Notes to the Bill (Word *.docx document)
* National Health Action party: http://www.nationalhealthaction.org.uk