The “Drop the Health Bill” petition is simplistic political nonsense. Dangerous simplistic political nonsense.
The Guardian quotes Dr Kailiast Chand saying: “I wanted people to get a simple message. This bill is about privatisation.” The Bill is a mess, it’s presentation has been woolly, and the amount of effort spent on building a coalition to support the changes has been woefully lacking. But it is not privatisation by the back door. If you want confirmation of this just speak to anyone at the Adam Smith Institute or Institute of Economic Affairs.
The petition is a greater threat to the NHS than the Bill. It ignores the fact that the current model of funding is unsustainable and doesn’t acknowledge that if the NHS is not reformed it will be impossible to ensure that we all get good health care free at source. If the NHS is not reformed then it – and possibly the country – will in the long-term go bankrupt. To pretend otherwise is pure Greek-onomics. When the NHS does go belly-up Dr Chand and his fellow GP chums will be ok as there will be enough private clients to pay their fees. It is those who can’t afford such costs who will suffer the most.
Public services are important. To thrive they must concentrate on achieving the best outcomes for all of us, and this means change. By all means have a debate about how this change should manifest itself but lets stop with the meaningless inflammatory gestures. We all want to save the NHS.