The following motion was passed by a large majority at the BMA (British Medical Association) Council meeting in London yesterday.
‘This meeting recognises that legislation in the new Health and Social Care Bill is introducing a market of competing health care providers which will increase the private commercial provision of both commissioning and health care services in England.
‘Council is extremely concerned that the bill will undermine the founding principles of the NHS including public ownership and public provision.
‘It will have detrimental effects on patient services, training and education, and the jobs and terms and conditions of health professionals.
‘Council therefore calls for a Special Representative Meeting for which motions can be submitted for debate and voting, in the normal ARM manner, on: 1 the implications of the legislation; 2 the responses the BMA should make.’
The motion was carried by a majority of 22 votes in favour to eight against.
The BMA has issued a response to the government’s Liberating the NHS: Greater choice and control in which it stated: ‘We remain deeply concerned about the speed with which the government is pressing ahead with implementing its proposals, seemingly without listening to warnings about the risks of this rushed approach.’