GP and columnist Dr Phil Hammond launched a scathing attack on the Government’s NHS reforms during a BBC programme, calling the health bill ‘wonk’ to health secretary Andrew Lansley’s face.
Dr Hammond told Mr Lansley on Question Time last night: ‘It’s 353 pages of wonk. It’s impossible to understand it.’
He also asked the health secretary to tell him how many times ‘competition’, ‘co-operation’, ‘integration’ and ‘collaboration’ appeared in the document.
Mr Lansley claimed that all of the concepts were referenced in the document, but Dr Hammond argued back that while ‘co-operation’ was mentioned four times, ‘competition’ featured in 86 instances, and ‘integration’ and ‘collaboration’ occurred not at all.
He continued: ‘The problem with competition is that is comes in and cherry-picks the best cases. In the NHS 20% of patients take up 80% of resources. The only way to solve the problems of the NHS is to integrate it.’
Mr Lansley responded: ‘ You are not trusting the doctors and nurses and health professionals themselves.’
‘The essence of the bill is that we design the service around the needs of patients. We give the doctors and nurses who we trust to provide us with healthcare the ability to commission to commission the services they need for their patients. That is not hard to understand.’