Hospital Dr News

Health Bill: royal colleges hold talks with Labour

Representatives from the main royal medical colleges have met shadow health secretary Andy Burnham to discuss alternatives to the Health and Social Care Bill.

The former Labour minister is seeking to coordinate an eleventh hour campaign to get the Bill dropped – although the meeting was reportedly inconclusive.

The Bill is currently passing through the House of Lords and will not gain royal assent before March.

This follows a survey by the Royal College of GPs which suggests that 98% of its members want the Health Bill withdrawn.

Meanwhile, another former health secretary – Lord Owen – has intensified his campaign to force Andrew Lansley to release a potentially critical ‘risk register’ compiled by Department of Health officials, assessing the controversial Bill.

Lord Owen, who tabled a motion on the register last month in the Lords, has now written to the presidents of the medical royal colleges warning that the dangers of proceeding are far greater than those of stopping the Bill. Publication of the register was first requested under the Freedom of Information Act last February, but has been resisted by Andrew Lansley.

Futhermore, Alan Maryon-Davis, a former president of the Faculty of Public Health, has joined forces with two academics to urge the royal colleges and professional associations to ‘act decisively before it’s too late’.

In a statement Profs Maryon-Davis and Allyson Pollock, and John Lister, said: “Most of the royal colleges and faculties have so far sought to engage constructively with the government to gain various concessions. But there has been no change in the Bill’s fundamental thrust – hence our plea to the colleges and faculties.”

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2 Responses to “Health Bill: royal colleges hold talks with Labour”

  1. Bob Bury says:

    Some of us have been encouraging our Royal Colleges to ‘grow a pair’ as I believe the young people say. I hope it’s not a case of too little, too late.

  2. Malcolm Morrison says:

    One of the problems is that SOME of the proposals make sense – having doctors (particulalry GPs who know the NEEDS of their community) make the decisions about the services to be ‘purchased’; and trying to reduce the bureaucracy and waste (that we all know exists) in the NHS. However, their means of achieving these ends leave a lot to be desired!

    Sadly, but to be expected, they will NOT address the fundamental problem of the NHS – DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY. This has been getting worse recently because of the many new and effective, but costlly, treatments that are now available. Hence, there MUST be RATIONING – a word that does not exist in any politician’s vocabulary! So, they want the doctors to do their ‘dirty work’ for them by having to make unpalatble decisions – and take the blame!

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