Bma To March To Tuc Rally

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LONDON’S doctors are to march through London to the TUC’s ‘Save Our NHS Rally’ at Central Halls Westminster on Wednesday March 7th.

The London Regional Assembly of the BMA meeting on Tuesday night, with 120 members present, expressed its support for the TUC’s All Together for the NHS Campaign, which is organising the rally from 6pm to 7.30pm that night.

The assembly decided that London’s doctors will assemble at 5pm at BMA House in Tavistock Square and march to the Central Hall rally.

Yesterday, the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) became the latest health body to oppose the Tory-LibDem Coalition’s NHS Health and Social Care Bill.

A survey of members showed that 93% said the Health and Social Care Bill will damage the NHS and the health of people in England.

Professor Lindsey Davies, President of FPH, said: ‘We are now calling on the government to withdraw the Bill in its entirety, because it would be in the best interests of everyone’s health.’

He added: ‘Based on our members’ expert views, it has become increasingly clear that the Bill will lead to a disorganised NHS with increased health inequalities, more bureaucracy and wasted public funds.

‘The Bill will increase health inequalities because there is the real danger that vulnerable groups like homeless people will not be included when health services are being planned.

‘Clinical commissioning groups and service providers will be able to pick and choose what procedures they perform and which services they put in place.’

Meanwhile, Unison called on the government to ‘come clean’ and publish the ‘risk register’ – a document said to raise huge concerns about the risk the Health and Social Care Bill poses to the NHS.

Despite completing the risk assessment last year, the government is refusing the information commissioner’s request to publish it, said Unison.

Reports suggest the register exposes the huge risk of costs spiralling under the bill, making the NHS unaffordable as private companies cream off huge profits – concerns echoed by the cross party Health Select Committee in January.

It is also said to cast doubt on the ability and willingness of GPs to take control of the majority of the NHS budget.

Christina McAnea, Unison head of health, said: ‘The government must publish the risk register. It is said to contain damning revelations about the bill – exposing the risk of costs spiralling out of control, rendering the NHS unaffordable, as private companies siphon off profits. GPs are also said to be neither ready nor willing to take on the lion’s share of the health budget.’

Prime minister Cameron yesterday made clear he has no intention of dropping the Health Bill.

At Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons Cameron rebuffed Miliband’s pleas that the bill should be blocked and boasted that it was being implemented before it became law.

He said that 95 per cent of the country was covered by General Practitioners already implementing the government’s reforms.

He continued: ‘Just today, 50 foundation trusts have written to the newspapers in support of our reforms and objecting to what Labour are proposing.’