Dr Charles West, local doctor and parliamentary spokesman for Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Democrats is proposing two important amendments to a health policy motion at the Liberal Democrat Conference later this week.
Dr West said:
“The government is planning the biggest shake up in the NHS for decades and it will threaten health services in Shropshire.
“We have seen creeping privatisation of the NHS under previous Labour and Conservative governments, but this new bill will open the floodgates. The government will require healthcare commissioners to buy from ‘any willing provider’. Unfortunately the private providers will be only too willing to offer to do the straight forward and easy work, and they will leave the difficult, the complicated and often that will mean the older patient to be cared for by NHS hospitals. If our hospitals lose too much custom they will not survive, so our local hospitals will not be there when we need them..
“In addition the government plan to abolish Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). GPs will be expected to do most of the work. But most GPs do not have the time, inclination or skills to pick up all this work, so private companies will step in to take it on for them. Already one of the pilot groups has employed a large American company to handle their contracts. That American company also sells Healthcare to the NHS. The opportunities for corruption, collusion and manipulation of referrals are seriously worrying.
“I am proposing two amendments to highlight these dangers and I have been getting support from Liberal Democrats all over the country. Over a hundred delegates including MPs, candidates and party officers have already committed to supporting us.”