Tag Archives: Paul Blomfield

Founder of ‘drop the bill’ petition speaks in Sheffield

Dr. Kailash Chand speaking at Sharrow Community Forum yesterday

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.”

Trust undermined

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.

Drop the Health Bill Petition

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Paul Blomfield MP protests against NHS bill in Broomhill

Paul Blomfield MP in Broomhill today

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.”

Thatcher’s dream

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.”

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