Quiet reflection needed over Health Bill…….before shelving it

Commenting on news at the weekend that MPs on the Health Select Committee would publish a stinging rebuke to the Health Secretary in his plans for the reform of the NHS, Health Select Committee member, Andrew George, said:

“The Select Committee report on public expenditure will be coming out on Tuesday morning. I will not pre-empt that. This is the Committee’s second inquiry into health service expenditure plans. We are keen to see if the Government reforms help or hinder attempts to achieve the efficiency gain which the previous Government set for it – £20 billion savings by 2014.

“For my own part, I make no apology for having challenged the Government over its proposed health reforms. I voted against the Bill because I believe it is unrealistic to expect the NHS to deliver the biggest financial challenge in its history at the same time as it endures the biggest upheaval since it was created.

“The House of Lords will be considering the next stages of the Bill in the coming weeks. Unless the Bill can offer something to enhance the NHS, simply amending the Bill to make it less bad than it was before is no good reason to allow it to become Law.

“If this is about saving the reputation of the Government or it’s Ministers; if the Government sees this as some kind of political virility test – to put victory above the public interest – then I seriously fear the consequences for our NHS.”

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