Thursday 28th February 2013
For immediate use
Labour steps up campaign against NHS competition regulations
Labour today steps up its campaign against the Government’s secondary legislation mandating competitive tendering in the NHS.
Such is the exceptional nature of the situation, with Government regulations flatly contradicting Ministerial assurances given during the passage of the primary legislation, it has taken the rare step of tabling a ‘fatal’ motion in the House of Lords.
If passed, it would mean the regulations would be dropped in their entirety.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:
"I am calling on the 'Drop The Bill' coalition, which came together a year ago to defend the NHS, to reassemble. Parliament has been conned and treated with utter contempt. We have got a matter of weeks to prevent the NHS being sold to the lowest bidder.
"Ministers' promises to 'let doctors decide' are rendered worthless by regulations mandating compulsory competitive tendering across the NHS. What they failed to achieve by the front door, they are now trying to sneak through by the back door.
"David Cameron promised to protect the NHS, but he has failed. If he gets his way, the NHS will be carved open and exposed to the full force of EU competition law. The genie will be out of the bottle and it will be hard to undo.
"Ministers must again be reminded that they do not have the consent of the British people to put the NHS up for sale. In a matter of days, over 200,000 people have signed a petition against these regulations. I am calling on all people who care about the NHS to join Labour's campaign against these plans.
"The Government must listen to the strength of feeling and withdraw these damaging regulations without delay."
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Labour’s Shadow Health Minister in the Lords, added:
"These regulations do not accurately reflect the assurances that Health Minister Earl Howe gave the Lords during the passage of the Health Bill. Given the Government’s clear determination to put private profit before patients, we will now seek to overturn this appalling legislation."