Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Will Undo NHS Reforms, Labour Insists

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

We Will Undo NHS Reforms, Labour Insists

Article excerpt

Byline: Jon Walker Reporter jon.walker@ncjmedia.co.uk

LABOUR MPs have backed proposals to "take a scalpel to cut the heart out" of the Government's "hated" NHS reforms. They supported legislation to repeal parts of the Coalition's NHS reforms, which Labour says have led to increased privation of the NHS by handing contracts to private-sector health providers.

Tories accused Labour of hypocrisy, claiming this form of privatisation was also promoted by the last Labour government.

The National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers Bill), promoted by Labour backbenchers, was passed by 241 votes to 18 at its second reading after a fiery debate.

But it is unlikely the reforms will become law in their current form as a private member's bill without the Coalition's backing as it only has limited time to progress through the Commons and will be opposed by the Government at future stages.

However, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham said the proposals would form the basis of Labour's Repeal Bill if it forms the next government.

"It's time to focus on what matters to most Newcastle North MP's Labour MP Catherine McKinnell said the current government had forced hospitals to open themselves up to a privatisation agenda which prioritises spending on competition lawyers and tendering exercises instead of on frontline patient care.

people: prioritising care, not profits Catherine McKinnell MP She said: "The future of our NHS is one of the single most important issues for the overwhelming majority of my constituents - and hundreds have been in touch with me asking me to back this bill.

"Many people across Newcastle North are appalled by the Coalition's approach to the NHS - letting private companies cherry-pick the most profitable NHS services, regardless of patient need, and spending more money on economic regulators and competition lawyers.

"It's time to focus on what matters to most people - prioritising patient care, not profits "That's why I was delighted to back this bill today."

Speaking in the debate, Dave Anderson, Labour MP for Blaydon, warned that private-sector providers had cut wages. …

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