National Health Action party (NHA) launches today
Thursday 15 November 2012 sees the launch of the National Health Action party (NHA). The party has been formed by doctors who are so concerned about changes to the NHS that they will aim to contest 50 seats against MPs who back the coalition Government’s health bill.
The party was inspired by the success of a local doctor, Richard Taylor, who won a seat in the Midlands in protest over the closure of the local hospital’s accident and emergency unit. The NHA is the brainchild of consultant oncologist Clive Peedell, who explains his view of the Government’s policy effectively to split the health service into many purchasers that acquired care from a range of competing providers – that is, to create a market.
He says: “Now we will see the NHS fail. The only way to privatise a service is to cut the money. That means waiting lists go up. Because foundation trusts are allowed to get 49% of income from private patients we will see the spread of private health insurance. We are going to see the NHS shrink to a rump service and everyone else forced to pay top-ups in the future.”
He says all main political parties share the blame for failing to protect the NHS as a “publicly owned, publicly accountable, publicly provided” service.
Sandra Patton, who heads the Medical Injury team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “The launch of this party shows just how strongly many doctors and health professionals feel about what is happening to the NHS, and that their views have not been taken into account when decisions have been made that they believe will fundamentally affect patient care and safety for the worse. We are increasingly dealing with medical injury claims involving private providers of health services. The implications of private companies taking over NHS services are so far reaching, yet I honestly do not think people in general yet understand what is happening to the NHS and the people who work in it.”
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