Charles West changes Lib Dem policy on Health

Liberal Democrats supporting amendment in NHS debate

This weekend Liberal Democrats issued a clear thumbs down to the competitive market that Andrew Lansley proposes to introduce in the NHS.
Dr Charles West, a Shropshire GP and previous Parliamentary Candidate for Shrewsbury successfully amended a health policy motion on the NHS White paper proposals.
In one of the major debates at their national conference in Sheffield, Liberal Democrats criticised the “the damaging and unjustified market-based approach that is proposed” in the White Paper, and called on Liberal Democrats in Parliament to amend the Health and Social Care Bill.
Dr West, who has been campaigning against the privatisation and fragmentation of health services for over three years, proposed the amendment that was overwhelmingly supported by the conference.
Dr West said:
“It has been suggested that the NHS has failed to deliver improvements in care and that health outcomes in Britain are much worse than in other countries. The government seem to use that as a pretext for what they claim to be the most radical shake up the NHS has had in 60 years.
“Unfortunately the statistics they have used are selective, misleading and in some cases plain wrong. The NHS is by no means perfect, and we should always seek to learn from experience of others. However the proposed reorganisation is likely to cost up to £3 billion pounds, cause major disruption and put much of the control of the NHS in the hands of private companies. If NHS hospitals lose income to the new providers it may threaten the very viability of hospitals like ours in the more rural parts of the country.
“Liberal Democrats were emphatic in their determination that the government proposals for the NHS would be damaging. MPs of all parties now have a challenge to see whether the Health Bill can be modified, or whether it needs to be rejected in its entirety.”

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