Statement from LIEN on the Health and Care Bill (Second Reading 14 th July 2021)
The Health and Care Bill (The Bill), introduced in the House of Commons on 6 July 2021
represents, in our view, a further stage of dismantling the National Health Service (NHS),
created as a result of the nationalisation of services enabled by the NHS Act 1948. The Bill builds on the cumulative impact of neoliberal “reforms” implemented by successive Conservative and Labour governments, beginning with Margaret Thatcher’s Health Service Act 1980. We oppose the Bill and call for it to be withdrawn.
Specifically, the Bill:
● Implements 42 Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) overseen by Integrated Care Boards
(ICBs) and which have fixed funding relating to their population. This approach replicates
the US “Kaiser” model used in Medicare and envisioned by Thatcher;
● Retains the internal market in that the purchaser/provider split is retained and at the
same time repeals section 75 of the Health and Social Care Act 2021 and the NHS
Procurement regulations, meaning that contracts may be awarded by the ICB to any
providers (including private providers) without competition;
● relaxes procurement rules at the same time that profiteers can be members of the ICBs.
Virgin has already been appointed to the ICB in Bath and NE Somerset, Swindon and
Wiltshire (BSW) where Virgin Healthcare is already a provider of services. We expect
that NHS funding will drain to shareholder dividends and corporate salaries.
The Bill legislates for the de facto change of healthcare system imposed by Simon Stevens over
the course of the past seven years following the catastrophic Health and Social Care Act 2012.
We call for the rejection of the Health and Care Bill and for the Reinstatement of the NHS as
agreed at Labour Party Conference 2017.
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