MP backs bid to shut out NHS privatisation
APRESSURE group’s campaign to halt the privatisation of the NHS has been backed by MP Andrew Gwynne.
The Stockport NHS Watch petition, which has attracted over 2,500 signatures, supports a private members’ bill put forward by MP Clive Efford, which was debated in the House of Commons.
The Efford Bill aims to reverse the effects of the Coalition Health and Social Care Act 2012 which exposed all services to bids from profit-making private companies.
Terry Tallis, chair of Stockport NHS Watch, a non-party political group, said: “The people of Stockport know that privatisation is happening.
“They recognise that this is the greatest threat to the NHS in its 66 years and must be stopped.”
The bill aims to maintain free services for all, to cap the income foundation trusts can derive from private healthcare and to remove commissioners’ obligation to outsource services to private companies.
Group member Graham Trickey said: “When we took the petition out on to the streets we found great concern about what is happening.
“People of all ages say they want the NHS to remain ‘our NHS’ and do not want privatisation.”
Labour MP Andrew Gwynne said: “Labour opposed the Health and Social Care Act 2012 because we feared it would open up the NHS to the eventual full privatisation.
“Since the law was passed with the help of Lib Dem votes in parliament we’ve seen £3bn wasted on a needless reorganisation and profitable services put into the private sector, while at the same time the NHS is under increasing pressure.
“Labour has already committed to repealing the Health and Social Care Act should we form the next government but Clive Efford’s private members’ bill is an early opportunity to vote to halt the privatisation of our NHS and, as importantly, exempt it from a transatlantic trade deal known as TTIP, which has the potential of opening up our health services to foreign competition too.”
Mr Gwynne was the borough’s only MP to have signed the petition at the time of going to press.
MP Andrew Gwynne and members of Stockport NHS watch (from left) Terry Tallis, Andy Wedderburn, Liz Harlow, Elaine Preece and Paul Leake