Proof of the government’s plans to privatise the NHS have been uncovered in a set of regulations, that blow apart former health secretary Andrew Lansley’s many promises ‘that there was nothing in the bill* that promotes or permits the transfer of NHS activities to the private sector.'
Regulations, laid before parliament by the government last week (13 February) under section 75 of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 appear to dramatically extend competition and force ‘compulsory competitive markets’ on the NHS.
According to a new report out today, the National Health Service (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition regulations 2013) breaks key government promises, made during the passing of the controversial Health & Social Care Act 2012, and more importantly the pledge that the bill did not impose compulsory competitive markets on commissioners.
Unite fears that cash-strapped NHS providers will struggle to compete with the likes of Virgin Care and Serco in the bidding for contracts, and is urging MPs to call a debate, rather then letting the plans through on a nod.
Rachael Maskell, Unite head of health, said: “This is proof, if proof were needed, that David Cameron and his cronies have misled both parliament and the public about their plans to sell off the NHS.
“The regulations have nothing to do with patient choice, but are about enforcing privatisation on the NHS. No doubt so that Cameron’s private sector friends can line their pockets with the most lucrative NHS contracts.
“The NHS needs MPs to stop privatisation creeping in through the back door. We were told that commissioners would not be forced to ‘fragment services or put them out to tender’, but the regulations appear to do just that. This is a chance for the Lib Dems to say, ‘no, not in my name’.
“The clock is ticking on the NHS, MPs have until 31 March 2013 to get these regulations debated and then overturned. It is the last chance saloon for Lib Dem MPs – they have it in their power to right the wrongs of the past with an eleventh hour reprieve to save our NHS from privatisation.”
Note to editors:
*Health and Social Care Act 2012
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For further information contact Chantal Chegrinec, Unite communications officer, on 07774 146 777
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.