Time to drop the Tory NHS Bill

I am pleased to see the Lib Dem Spring Conference has voted to oppose the government’s proposed changes to the NHS (BBC News today). As one of the delegates at last year’s conference who called on the government to think again on its proposals I fully support this decision. Despite many Lib Dem successes in rewriting this flawed plan the Tories have still to prove they really understand what the NHS is for and what the vast majority of people in this country expect of it and of them.

For a full analysis of how the bill has changed see the report by Dr Evan Harris here

We are governed by a coalition because the Tories didn’t win the last election – they couldn’t be trusted to run the country on their own. Lib Dem ministers have been very successful in curbing the lunatic fringe of the Tory party and stopping their idiotic excesses. They should now do the same with this bill. Coalition means government by consent and compromise.

There is no room for Tory dogmatists dictating policies to a country who totally reject those policies. There is no consensus for the changes proposed, they were not part of the coalition agreement, they are rejected by the health professions and by the majority of voters – everyone except the right wing of the Tory party. To continue to force these unaceptable and unworkable changes on the NHS is counterproduction. The bill should be scrapped now.

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