From Sam, Antonia, Alex, Alice, Jamie, Ricken and the rest of the Avaaz team
Public outrage is gripping the country as the Prime Minister persists with a bill that would dismantle the NHS and open the field to private companies. The government refuses to publish its internal report on the risks of the reforms, one reason among many why thousands of health professionals and many politicians oppose the changes. If we now build a massive outcry we can sway our last line of defence — the House of Lords — to save the NHS.
Let’s call on the undecided members in the House of Lords to keep the knives off our NHS and ensure we can all read the official risk report — sign here and circulate. Our voices will ramp up the pressure as we deliver our petition when we reach key milestones between now and Monday:
The coalition promised no top-down reorganisation of the National Health Service. Yet it’s brought in a bill that threatens to turn large chunks of the NHS over on a plate to private health care companies and cost-cutting consultants, threatening a tidal wave of privatisation that will leave our health system expensive and fragmented, with many of us getting only low-quality care. Citizens are outraged — according to the latest polls, over half of us want the new bill to be scrapped.
Public opposition has already delayed the bill and forced several amendments, but the government is refusing to halt the reforms, wrongly insisting that opponents are just a minority group of disgruntled health care professionals and political opponents. The fight for the NHS now depends on the 200 members of the House of Lords who don’t belong to a political party. They aren’t used to public scrutiny, so if we target them now, we can win and ensure that any reforms of our precious health service are done in concert with health professionals and patients.
We only have until Monday to tip the balance. The recommendation to delay the debate until after the risk register has been released will throw the NHS a lifeline and allow us all to see the likely impact of this bill. Sign the petition, and send widely.
Britain is proud of the NHS, which has saved countless lives and won admirers across the world. Let’s act now and ensure our health care system stays free for all.
NHS reforms: Lib Dem divisions resurface as bill returns to parliament http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/13/nhs-reforms-lib-dem-divisions?newsfeed=true
Time is running out to save the NHS http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/time-is-running-out-to-help-the-nhs-760964
NHS costs soar as GPs focus on health reforms http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/mar/12/nhs-reform-gps-too-busy?
Cabinet ‘revolts against health reforms’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9073613/Cabinet-revolts-against-health-reforms.html
Cameron should scrap NHS bill and drop Lansley, says influential Tory blog (The Guardian) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/10/cameron-scrap-nhs-bill-lansley
NHS Reforms: More Than Half Of Voters Want To See Changes Dropped (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/02/21/nhs-reforms-voters-poll-dropped-health-and-social-care-bill_n_1289969.html?ref=uk