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Health bill will destroy NHS from within

Your editorial last week was excellent.

Taking the national out of the NHS

Health secretary Andrew Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill is driven by the ideological desire to establish a market ethos in healthcare, along the lines of the earlier privatisation of public utilities. But healthcare is not amenable to the marketplace and this bill is a Trojan horse that will destroy the NHS from within.

This is not what the medical profession, nor the public, wants. Monitor’s new role as the NHS economic regulator, combined with the any willing provider policy and tariff reform, has the potential to fatally fragment and dismantle the health service at a time when patient satisfaction has never been higher. GPs want modernisation of the NHS and to be an instrument of that by being at the centre of commissioning, not a scapegoat for its destruction.

If Mr Lansley truly wants to reduce waste and inefficiency, he should abandon the mantra of competition and instead work towards developing a co-operative and integrated healthcare system, with collaborative commissioning at its heart.

From Dr Kailash Chand
Chair, NHS Tameside and Glossop, and retired GP