Please ask your MP to attend the House of Commons NHS Reinstatement Bill briefing meeting/debate on 28th June and make sure that the existing Bill is re-tabled on 30th June.
Until recently, we understood that the purpose of this meeting in the House of Commons was for the Bill’s main sponsor Rachael Maskell – and other cross party MPs who support the Bill – to explain why MPs should support the re-tabling of the NHS Reinstatement Bill on 30th June, and should commit to attending its second reading later in the Parliamentary session.
But Rachael Maskell has informed the NHS Reinstatement Bill’s authors, Peter Roderick and Allyson Pollock, that she is not prepared to table the existing NHS Reinstatement Bill on 30th June – just a “long title” that explains the key aims of a Bill that she intends to table later, probably in the autumn.
She has not said what will actually be in her new Private Members’ Bill.
The NHS Reinstatement Bill is not perfect – we recognise it needs amending in committee stage, if and when it gets there – but we know what it is, and that for all its faults, it aims to restore the NHS as a publicly owned, funded and run health service, that is universal, comprehensive, free at the point of need, based on clinical need and not the patients’ ability to pay, and that the Secretary of State has a duty to provide.
Calderdale & Kirklees 999 Call for the NHS cannot support anything less than this, and we urge other supporters of the NHS Bill to take the same position.
Of course, at the 28 June meeting about the Bill in the House of Commons, Rachael Maskell may offer some clarity about her intentions.
Equally, the meeting may be as confusing as the information she has just presented to the NHS Bill’s authors and the campaign group.
Enacting the NHS Reinstatement Bill is a key campaign goal of Calderdale 999 Call for the NHS. It has been a major focus for our campaigning work, in fighting to save local NHS services that are under threat of cuts and sell offs.
Following the failure of the Labour Party to support the NHS Bill at its second reading in March, the Bill’s main sponsor, Caroline Lucas MP, stepped down in order to allow a Labour MP, Rachael Maskell, to re-table it.
The hope is that this will enable the Parliamentary Labour Party to back it, instead of being deterred from supporting what could be seen as a “Green” Bill.
Brexit brings even greater threats to the NHS than it already faces from the government’s cuts and privatisation agenda. It is vital that progressive MPs make an effective alliance to table and pass the existing NHS Reinstatement Bill.