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BMA ups anti-Health Bill campaign

21 September 2011

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The British Medical Association (BMA) has pledged to up its anti-Health and Social Care Bill lobbying activity ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords.

A programme of lobbying, local events and further campaigning activity has been agreed to highlight doctors’ major concerns about the Bill.

A spokesperson for the BMA said such activity is in the “development stages” and refused to comment further when asked for more detail by GP Business.

“The clear view of BMA Council is that the Health and Social Care Bill remains deeply flawed and should be withdrawn or at the very least significantly amended,” said Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA Council.

“The BMA will continue to publicly and vigorously highlight the concerns of doctors and patients, particularly to peers who have a real opportunity to protect the NHS by addressing the damage that could be done by many aspects of these reforms.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Health has labelled the BMA’s campaign “disappointing” as the union previously said it was “pleased that the government has accepted the Future Forum’s core recommendations, and that there will be significant revisions to the Health and Social Care Bill.”

“We will never privatise the NHS and patients will never have to pay for NHS care,” said the Department of Health spokesperson.

“Our plans have been greatly strengthened in order to safeguard the future of the NHS.” 

Members also gave their full support to the way in which Meldrum has handled BMA policy on the Health and Social Care Bill as agreed at the BMA’s 2011 annual representative meeting and subsequent Council meeting. 

Meldrum has previously received criticism from BMA members for not promoting the BMA’s concerns on the Bill strongly enough.