I'm calling on Harlow's Tory MP to back a bill in Parliament on Friday that would reverse the damaging privatisation of our NHS.
This Friday, your MP, the MP that is supposed to represent the views and concerns of residents in Harlow, has the opportunity to vote against privatisation of the NHS.
Tomorrow, Labour MP Clive Efford is asking MPs to vote on a bill in the House of Commons called the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill. Procedures of the House of Commons rarely capture the public imagination, but the principles behind this one just might.
The Bill would stop some of what I would say is the damaging, destructive and dangerous privatisation of our NHS. And I’m calling on Harlow’s Tory MP to back it.
I have had more emails and letters on this subject more than any other in my time as Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow. Many of these emails ask me to lobby Robert Halfon MP to vote to save our NHS. Clearly residents across Harlow are worried and concerned about their NHS, they want it protected and improved and they know they can’t trust the Tories with our health service.
It’s almost three years since the Health and Social Care Act opened up the NHS to a range of private companies. Some people might not see a problem with this I do, because healthcare decisions should not be motivated by the desire to make money or bring your shareholders a dividend. They should be motivated by what's best for the patient and the public.
Parliamentary bills are technical in their detail but Clive's bill would change many of the government's most damaging "reforms" to the NHS. It would stop the compulsory tendering of all NHS contracts, which came into force last year. It would stop the ability of hospitals to earn 49% of their income from private patients, which some argue comes at the cost of NHS patients.
It would also prevent the NHS being affected by an EU/US trade agreement that could see American private health companies running UK hospitals.
Finally, it would mean that the Secretary of State for Health has ultimate responsibility for the NHS, which was dramatically weakened by this government.
If I were the MP for Harlow, then I would vote to halt the privatisation of our NHS tomorrow. And I am calling on Harlow’s Tory MP, Robert Halfon to do the same thing. To vote with his constituents not his Conservative colleagues or his boss George Osborne. One thing all residents want is an MP who will protect and Save our NHS.
This is more than a red team vs blue team, parliamentary shoot out, its more than a pre-occupation for Newsnight editors and parliamentary sketch writers, the NHS affects all of us in our everyday lives. Healthcare is about people, not profit.
I hope all MPs including Robert Halfon do the right thing.