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TV GP ‘torn’ over Health Bill

20 February 2012

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The government’s proposed Health and Social Care Bill is “better than nothing”, according to TV’s Dr Christian Jessen.

In an exclusive interview with MiP, the GP and Embarrassing Bodies presenter said that while he didn’t agree with the majority of the controversial health reforms, he “felt sorry” for beleaguered Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

“I do feel very sorry for our Health Minister. I don’t think he has made the right decisions with the health reforms at all, but at least he is sticking his neck out and trying to do something,” he said.

Dr Jessen told MiP he feels “torn” over the reforms as he fears the bill will lead to increased profiteering from the NHS and a move to the US-style of healthcare.

However, he said the NHS is a “very different beast” than it was a decade ago and agreed a new GP-led model of care is the way forward.

He criticised the bill’s opponents who offered no alternative to Lansley’s plans and said “anything is better than nothing”.

“The obesity crisis will bring the NHS to its knees if nothing is done,” he said.

“Any changes to the NHS are bound to be unpopular but changes are needed if we want to avoid a massive crash in healthcare services.”

By Louise Naughton

Do you feel sorry for Health Secretary Andrew Lansley? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“NOT!” – Kostana, London

“‘fraid not. He reminds me of Animal in the Muppets – unless someone chains his hands, he just carries on drumming!” – Hallam, Suffolk

“No, I don’t feel sorry for Andrew Lansley. He has had the opportunity to get it right by listening to the people who actually do the job at the coal face. Yes changes were needed but ask those providing the service what needs to be changed and how to go about it. When will the government pay more than lip service to involving the people on the ground? It is sad that the NHS will suffer because the government choose to ignore concerns from nurses, doctors and managers about the changes proposed. If there was some honesty about what they are trying to acheive by bringing in the private sector maybe he would have some credibiilty. An Amercian style system will result in pateints suffering and being denied treatment as the private sector are not going to treat based on need” – Theresa, London