Whatever your view of the Health and Social Care Bill – evil instrument of NHS privatisation or empowering tool for clinician-led commissioning – you’ve got to respect people who go the extra mile to get their message across.
I’ve mentioned the chairman of the Israel Medical Association in the past who completed a 12-day hunger strike earlier this year in a bid to secure better pay, work conditions and funding for the country’s public doctors.
Dr Clive Peedell is about to embark on his own form of suffering in order to raise the profile of his anti-Health Bill campaign. He’s a clinical oncologist, co-chair of the NHS Consultants’ Association and a member of BMA council. Along with another oncologist Dr David Wilson, he’s going to be running 160 miles from Aneurin Bevan’s statue in Cardiff to the Department of Health in Whitehall.
It was Bevan, the founding father of the NHS, who famously said: “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.”
Sponsored by the NHSCA, this protest run against the Health Bill will take six days between 10-15 January.
The aim of the run is to raise public awareness about the lack of democratic mandate for the NHS reforms, the plans for increasing NHS privatisation, and the undermining of the founding principles of the English NHS.
Dr Peedell says he will also be highlighting how the public is being misled by the government. It is also aimed at raising more opposition to the Bill from within the profession.
They’re going to run through Chepstow, Gloucester, the Cotswolds, Oxford, and High Wycombe. They’ll also make an important stop in Witney town centre (David Cameron’s constituency) to make a public demonstration against the reforms.
Clive said: “We welcome any doctors who want to join the run at any stage, and we really want a large welcoming crowd when we arrive in Witney.”
He also hopes to publicise Dr Kailash Chand’s government e-petition to drop the Bill.
Keep up with the progress of Clive and David’s ‘Bevan Run’ through his tweeting.