KATE OSBORNE: Why the health and care bill is so damaging to our NHS

Last night the Conservative Government’s controversial Health and Care Bill returned to the Commons after it completed its Third Reading in the Lords recently.t night

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 12:00 am

For those of us who strongly believe in our National Health Service as a comprehensive public service run for the benefit of patients, the Bill remains a devastating piece of legislation that will open the NHS up to widespread privatisation.

It's being used by Boris Johnson and his Government to push through a major restructuring that would be damaging to patients, but in the middle of a pandemic it is feared it will be a disaster for healthcare services.

It’s been a massively difficult two years for our NHS who have kept our country going, protecting us and looking after our loved ones.

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NHS staff right across the Jarrow constituency, and beyond have done so much and continue to do everything they can in our fight against Covid-19, which despite the ending of Covid restrictions, is still far from over.

Every one of our brilliant, dedicated staff in our hospitals from South Tyneside and Sunderland to those in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead have gone above and beyond during the most testing of times.

The Covid-19 pandemic has posed one of the biggest challenges to our NHS, made even more difficult following more than a decade of underfunding, understaffing and an ideologically-driven programme of austerity that has left the service on its knees. This simply cannot be allowed to continue.

Here on our own doorstep in South Tyneside, we have already lost our stroke services, our consultant-led Maternity Unit, our Special Care Baby Unit, our overnight Children’s A&E service and of course the loss of the Jarrow Walk-In Centre six-and-a-half years ago.

However, the effects of the Bill will be felt far and wide. There will be more privatisation, more cuts, and more cronyism.

The Bill will cut medical and emergency services, it will force more people to pay for their health care and it will also allow more private companies to take over services and make decisions on budgets.

For too long our NHS has been pushed to the brink by the Tories.

Our NHS cannot sustain the current level of attacks from this Government and inevitably it is going to be both staff and patients who will suffer.