Labour MP for Sheffield Central Paul Blomfield set up stall outside Broomhill’s shops today to protest against the government’s proposed NHS bill.
In an interview with TGS News, he said that the bill is “going to cause enormous damage to healthcare in this country.
“It will lead to the privitisation of the NHS as we know it.”
Bill ‘deeply ideological’
Blomfield contends that the bill is largely ideologically motivated. “I think it’s joined up with a number of other aspects of government policy,” he said.
“It’s part of a vision which sees a smaller public realm, a smaller state, and the private sector being the key operator.
“It’s deeply ideological.”
He pointed to the state of healthcare in the United States to illustrate the potential drawbacks of private sector involvement in the NHS: “The wealthy in the states get the highest standards of care – but those people who lose their job and therefore lose their occupational health insurance will find themselves not provided for by the state.”
Also present was Broomhill Labour councillor Stuart Wattam. He said that the coalition are doing “what Thatcher only dreamt of doing in the 1970’s.”
Wattam also argued that the bill has been poorly thought out. “It’s just appalling really,” he said.
“They’re going to spend more than they’re actually going to save.”
Member of the Broomhill Labour party Val Binney was at the stall, speaking with the public about the bill. She spent 25 years working as a clinical psychologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
She said she was confused by the coalition’s proposal to abolish primary care trusts as they have been functioning well.
On the bill, she concluded: “it’s become a matter of pride to push it through no matter what.”