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The Future of the NHS – 38 Degrees e-mail campaign  

March 6th 2013

While I recognise the right of any organisation to pay for a legal opinion – and it is of course only one opinion – I cannot help noticing that the 38 Degrees organisation has commissioned a former Labour Member of Parliament and active member of the Labour Party to produce their report.

There is an alternative view, which I share, which is that far from “privatising the NHS” as some have suggested,  the measures proposed by the Government have been designed to  set clearer parameters that will help to preserve the public sector nature of the NHS.

It is also worth noting that the private sector makes a very significant contribution to the Health Service in the United Kingdom. (It tends to be forgotten that, for example, well over 90% of General Practitioners are in effect small private businesses). Without that contribution Healthcare would be very significantly diminished.

Nevertheless, the fact that the Government is reviewing the proposals in the light of concerns expressed by some GPs is entirely proper and sensible. Most of us have good cause to be grateful for the work of the NHS which we and our families all use.  My own overriding concern, which I know is shared personally by the Prime Minister, is to ensure that funding for the NHS is maintained in real terms at a level that offers the best possible healthcare for the people that I represent and I can assure you that I will not support any measure that I believe will have an adverse impact upon that.

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