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Doctors Call for Reforms to be Scrapped

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Doctors have called for the controversial health and social care bill be withdrawn all together as it’s plans are inadequate to protect the NHS.

At the British Medical Association’s (BMA) annual conference doctors’ representatives expressed disappointment that changes to the bill, agreed by ministers after the NHS Future Forum report, do not go far enough, adding that plans, “fail to satisfactorily address the concerns of the profession.”

Furthermore, the conference ignored the reassurance of the BMA leader Dr Hamish Meldrum, who warned that calls to withdraw the bill altogether would jeopardize the BMA’s position in negotiations with the government.  59% of members voted for the union to continue to call for the bill to be withdrawn rather than amended.

Members also backed, by 93% , the part of the motion that argues “that competition should not be forced on the NHS.” Although Meldrum advised that Monitor’s duty to promote competition had been eliminated from the bill as part of the rethink, members voted 70% to 22% in disagreement with him.

The government was also accused by Labour today of keeping elements of the reforms that they had promised to change in the wake of its “listening exercise”. The shadow health secretary, John Healey, said that despite ministers announcing 180 amendments to the bill, the Tories’ long-term aim of establishing a “full-scale market” remained intact.

However, now that elements of the bill rejected by Lib Dem’s have been re-organised, it is expected that it will be passed through parliament.

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