Dr. Kailash Chand OBE spoke at a Labour CLP meeting at Sharrow Community Forum yesterday evening. Dr. Chand founded the online petition ‘Drop the Health Bill’, which currently has 177,590 signatures.
At the meeting he said that the NHS bill is “friendless” and told his audience that they had “lost the battle, but not the argument.”
Dr. Chand said that the bill could have a destructive effect on the patient-doctor relationship.
He argued that the rationing of NHS resources for commercial gain rather than for clinical reasons could undermine the trust between doctors and their patients.
“There is no evidence that competition works in healthcare,” he said.
He was particularly critical of the Conservatives, saying that their official line on the bill is “nothing more than a smoke screen.”
“The Tories really are good as far as PR is concerned,” he said.
‘Democracy was failing’
After the meeting, Dr. Chand spoke with TGS News about his recent campaigning.
“I started because democracy was failing,” he said. “The government was not listening to the BMA, was not listening to royal colleges, was not listening to GPs and even patient groups.
“They were not even listening to their own party.”
He said that he wouldn’t mind the changes if he thought that privatisation would lead to better public health, but there is no evidence to support this.
“It’s totally ideological,” he said.
‘We will repeal the bill’
Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, attended the talk.
He said that Dr. Chand “both outlined the challenges that we face as a result of this bill going through, but also motivated people by pointing out that there is still an opportunity to save the NHS from its worst impact.
“Even if we don’t force the Tories to, when Labour is reelected in 2015 we will repeal the bill,” he said.