A LABOUR government will repeal the Health and Social Care Act,’ Dianne Abbott shadow health secretary said to cheers at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool yesterday.
She continued: ‘The Health and Social Care Act has fragmented the system making it so much easier for the private sector to move in. This means we must return our NHS to what it was originally conceived as, a publicly owned, publicly funded, publicly accountable universal service.
‘Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership the Labour Party will be committed to halting and reversing the tide of privatisation and marketisation of the NHS. The terrible decision to abolish bursaries for student nurses, midwives and other professionals and burden them with debt, risks exacerbating the staff shortages in the NHS in these key areas.
‘This abolition of bursaries will be reversed by an incoming Labour government. We will end the scandal that these professionals will incur debt just to work in the NHS. The difference between Labour and Tory values is extremely stark in relation to the NHS. The Tories are dismantling it. The whole of Labour can unite in defending it,’ she concluded.
• Saturday’s decision by the BMA to suspend junior doctors’ strike plans due to ‘patient safety’ concerns, has ‘angered junior doctors throughout the country,’ they wrote in an open letter yesterday.
The letter continued: ‘It was unexpected and, seemingly, unaccountable; despite about 100,000 doctors paying £400 annually to the union that represents us, no one has yet been informed of the breakdown of the vote.
‘In line with nationwide concerns by junior doctors, consultants and other healthcare practitioners, the Junior Doctors’ Alliance pressure group (JDA) has reaffirmed its commitment to raising public awareness about the dangers to patients in particular, and the NHS as a whole, of the new contract.
‘In the wake of the decision to suspend the strike, it is now more vital than ever to engage in public discussion and affirmative action to ensure this contract is not imposed by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
‘We aim to put pressure on the BMA to pursue new action to block the imposition of this contract, and to act as advocates for both doctors and patients alike; to seek transparency and accountability from the BMA to its members; to garner support for further negotiations with the government, and to provide our patients and the wider public with accurate information on how this new contract will devastate the NHS.
‘We urge doctors to support us via our JDA Facebook page.’
Dr James Crane, Dr Aislinn Macklin-Doherty, Dr Julia Patterson, Dr Mona Kamal Ahmed, Mr Rishi Dhir, Dr Moosa Quereshi, Dr Benjamin Janaway of the Junior Doctors’ Alliance (JDA).