© Am Ang Zhang 2011
I returned from Greece after a lovely cruise. Greece has been hit by more financial problems and it was clear that market forces caused much hardship to its ordinary citizens! One taxi driver told me that Greece will never pay back the EU. He may well be right.
The British Medical Association's council, the executive committee of the union, voted to pass a series of motions critical of the government's bill – and crucially accepted that doctors "start a public campaign to call for the withdrawal of the health and social care bill".
Put forward by NHS consultants Clive Peedell and Jacky Davis, the motion will ratchet up the pressure on ministers over the summer break who had hoped that the bill's third reading in early September would be an easy ride.
The BMA, which represents 140,000 doctors, voted to "reject the idea that the government's proposed changes to the bill will significantly reduce the risk of further marketisation and privatisation of the NHS" and "agreed that the government is misleading the public by repeatedly stating that there will be 'no privatisation of the NHS'".
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of council at the BMA, said: "Whilst the BMA recognises there have been some changes following the listening pause, there is widespread feeling that the proposed legislation is hopelessly complex, and it really would be better if the bill were withdrawn."
His colleague on the council Dr Peedell said that the health bill was "just a privatisation bill with a third of it devoted to [producing] an economic regulated market".
From Clive Peedell: (Thanks to )
We have had a passionate and lively debate at BMA Council today about the Health and Social Care Bill.
This was an excellent outcome for us. We now have a mandate for a campaign to call for the bill to be withdrawn.
Thanks to you all for your continued help and support. The fight goes on…..