Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has presented a cross-party Bill in parliament, calling for the roll-back of NHS privatisation and a return to its ‘founding principles’.
The National Health Service Bill seeks to protect the NHS from what the Greens describe as ‘the creeping privatisation of public health services’.
The Bill has received cross-party support of MP’s from Labour, the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Plaid Cymru. This includes support from Labour’s Michael Meacher, and Liberal Democrat MP’s Andrew George and John Pugh.
Green Party delegates overwhelmingly voted in the favour of the Bill at their party conference.
The coalition of MPs are calling for the reversal of 25 years of NHS marketisation and the restoration of a publicly accountable National Health Service, which is ‘truly public’ and ‘free at the point of delivery’.
Responsibility for the provision of health services would also be returned to the Secretary of State, which was severed with the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
Scotland and Wales have already reversed the marketisation of the NHS, and the Greens say England could too.
Caroline Lucas MP said: “We must stop our NHS being whittled down to little more than a corporate logo.
“The public service we love is being dismantled and defined by bidding wars and market structures that waste billions which could be spent on patient care.
“Our public health service should be run with patients, not profit, at its heart. Its rescue package must be rigorous and comprehensive to fully protect it from the private sector. I’m honoured to be presenting just such a Bill and with such strong cross-party support.”
She added: “The NHS is a core part of our national identity – but as things stand, it’s under immediate and growing threat.
“What the founders of our NHS achieved was radical and far-reaching – and we have a duty to ensure that reinstating their vision of the publicly provided NHS we still want is at the heart of our General Election debate.”