The TUC says:
The House of Lords are to start discussing proposed changes to the Government’s Health and Social Care Bill on 8 February. The seriousness of this Bill cannot be understated. It threatens the very principles on which the National Health Service was founded by turning it into a business where our taxes will pay for private companies to provide our healthcare. Profit will come before patient care. These reforms are being pushed through at a time when the government is asking the NHS to make unprecedented cuts. Despite Government assertions to the contrary, deep concerns about the Bill are held by practitioners and patients from across the health service. They are also shared by many of the coalitions own supporters, including a number of MPs and Peers, who have criticised what Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary is trying to push through.
Now we are asking anyone who cares about our NHS to join us in a Save our NHS rally in Westminster Central Hall, opposite the Houses of Parliament at 18:00 on 7 March. The rally has been organised by the All Together for the NHS Campaign and brings together a range of unions, professional bodies, patients and members of the public who are opposed to the Bill.
Some changes have been made to the Bill but not nearly enough.
Peers must listen to the concerns of the people that know the NHS best – the staff who work in it. Health workers fear the increased competition and the extension of markets will have a devastating impact on patient care, especially poorer people who will find themselves pushed to the back of ever-growing waiting lists.
We hope the rally on 7 March will provide the opportunity for NHS workers and patients to send a loud message across Parliament Square to convince the House of Lords that this Bill would be a disaster for the NHS.
If you’re able to join the rally at 6pm on Wednesday 7th March at Westminster Central Hall, opposite the Houses of Parliament, please do. If you need help with transport please get in touch as UNITE is in the process of organising this from each region.