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Doctors tell government to ditch competition rules in NHS

Would scrapping competition rules help the NHS?


Doctors say the government should scrap the Health and Social Care Act 2012 competition rules introduced by the Conservatives.


A motion saying the regulations were ‘wasting significant sums of monies in procurement processes, fragmenting care and destabilising NHS providers through accelerating private sector provision’ was passed unopposed at the BMA annual meeting.


Philip Howard, a member of the BMA’s consultants committee, said: ‘It is important that we repeal the whole of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which destroyed the NHS in this country in April 2013… What we have seen since 2013 is an increasing privatisation of our NHS. Profitable services go to the private sector. Non-profitable services — paediatrics, accident and emergency, critical care, neurosurgery, cardiothoracic surgery, care of the elderly — stay with the NHS.’


BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said that large sums of taxpayers’ money were being wasted on dealing with competitive processes in the NHS: ‘It’s morally reprehensible that millions of pounds of public money is swallowed up by competitive tendering alone.’


Prime Minister Theresa May has said the government is prepared to legislate to change the market created within the NHS.


In a speech last week at the Royal Free Hospital Mrs May she said the move might be made where regulations are found to be inhibiting integration.


Further information

British Medical Journal: Scrap NHS competition rules, BMA says

Health Service Journal: Targets under review and NHS legislation open to change — PM

Website: BMA

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