The death certificate of the National Health Service is published today. Cause of death: Health & Social Care Act 2012 . Contributory causes: Thatcherism, Orange Book liberalism, neoliberal doctrine and the failure of New Labour.
The mock certificate is issued by the National Health Action Party, founded last year by doctors and health care professionals seriously worried about the Coalition Government’s Health & Social Care Act and the quiet privatisation of the NHS.
From today, new legislation comes into force which compels GP commissioning groups to put services up for a bidding war with the private sector rather than allowing them to choose for themselves if they want to use publicly provided NHS services. The NHA party says these regulations mean private companies will cherry-pick profitable services leading to poorer patient care. There is now a crucial vote on these amended section 75 regulations in the House of Lords on April 24th.
On Saturday April 6th, NHA Party co-leader Dr Peedell will be drawing attention to the introduction of Health & Social Care Act, and in particular the role of the Lib Dems in allowing it to pass into law, with a 35 mile ultra-marathon from the Department of Health in Leeds to Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency where the death certificate will be delivered.
Dr Peedell will be running dressed as David Cameron with fellow oncologist Dr David Wilson alongside him on a lead, dressed up as “Cleggy”, his orange poodle . He’s calling it “The Cleggython”.
Dr Peedell, who is also doing a 65 mile run on July 5/6th from London to David Cameron’s Witney constituency to mark the 65th anniversary of the NHS (dubbed “The CAM-arathon”) said:
“As the new legislation takes effect on April 1st 2013, it signals the end of the English National Health Service as we know it. We will have an English Health Service, not an NHS. To mark this momentous point in the history of the NHS, a mock death certificate of the NHS will be delivered to Nick Clegg’s constituency office, to raise public awareness of the role the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats have played in dismantling and increasingly privatising our NHS, despite having no democratic mandate to this.”
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Details of the ultra-marathon on Saturday April 6th:
8.15 am Meet outside Quarry House, Department of Health HQ in Leeds, LS2 7UE. (Quarry House map)
8.30 am Media opportunities. Interviews and photos.
Dr David Wilson will play the role of “Cleggy” and be dressed in a poodle outfit. Dr Clive Peedell will play the role of David Cameron, dressed in a blue tie and jacket.
“Cleggy” and “Cameron” will sign the death certificate of the NHS in front of the media. An explanation of what this means will be given by Dr Peedell.
9.00 am START OF ULTRA-MARATHON. The 35mile “Cleggython” will begin from Quarry House, and finish at Nick Clegg’s constituency office 85 Nethergreen Rd, Sheffield, via Sheffield City Centre
4.30-5pm The runners will stop off at Sheffield City Centre, outside the Town Hall (map), and make speeches. The runners will then continue to Clegg’s constituency office to deliver the NHS death certificate. FINISH 85 Nethergreen Rd, Sheffield, S11 7EH (map). More media opportunities.
The Government’s NHS reforms not only broke pre-election promises of the Conservative party not to inflict another “top down re-organisation” of the NHS, but also broke the post-election Coalition Agreement promise, which also stated: “We will stop the top-down reorganisations of the NHS that have got in the way of patient care”.
According to academic and legal analysis published in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet, the Government’s new legislation enshrined within the Health and Social Care Act effectively abolishes the NHS in England. It will end the entitlement to comprehensive healthcare by paving the way to a reduction in “free at the point of use” core NHS services, moving us towards a mixed funding system with an increasing role for the private health insurance industry and increasing privatisation of the provision of healthcare services.
Yet Cameron, Clegg and other coalition Ministers repeatedly stated in the media that there would be “no privatisation of the NHS”. The Government response (see pages 42-43) to the Future Forum also promised to put their position beyond doubt by ruling out any question of NHS privatisation. The evidence, which includes the World Health Organisation definition of healthcare privatisation, clearly suggests they have broken their promises.
The “Cleggython” forms part of the National Health Action Party’s wider ongoing efforts and campaigns, which aim to highlight what is happening to the NHS to the media and the public. The “Cleggython” is a also prelude to the “CAMarathon”, which is another ultra-marathon on the 65th birthday of the NHS on July 5/6th when Dr Peedell will be running 65 miles from London to David Cameron’s Witney constituency.