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Health reforms risk destroying the founding principles of the NHS, says TUC
Commenting yesterday on the publication of the Health and Social Care Bill, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
'This is the government's ticking time bomb. The Conservatives told us before the election that there would be no cuts to the NHS, no top-down reorganisation and respect for the founding principles of the NHS.
'Today's plans break each of those pledges. A giant top-down reorganisation that will cost billions to carry out, opens the door to widespread privatisation and comes on top of eye-watering efficiency savings, all add up to a toxic cocktail of voter unfriendliness.
'The pace and scale of change will alter the NHS out of all recognition, and will mean large parts of the health service are opened up to private contractors, despite there being little, if any, evidence to suggest the private sector does things better.
'The public should rightly be concerned at what the reforms will mean for them and their families when they get sick - especially as none of what is being suggested was properly put to them in either the Conservative or the Liberal Democrat election manifestos.
'At the heart of the NHS is the principle that access to care should be based on need, not the ability to pay, yet the removal of the cap on private income could see NHS patients pushed to the back of the queue as hospitals scramble to boost their income by attracting paying patients.
'Ministers must listen to the staff who work in our hospitals, surgeries and clinics, and pull back from these costly, damaging and disruptive changes.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet
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