The White paper on Health Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS published on 12 July 2010 poses a major threat to the NHS.
If these radical proposals - which did not appear in either of the coalition manifestos - are enacted when the bill is debated in the autumn, it will be the end of the NHS as we know and love it.
The private sector is delighted, seeing the opportunities of increasing their market share. As the business manager of Tribal said: This white paper could amount to the denationalisation of healthcare services in England and is the most important redirection of the NHS in more than a generation, going further than any Secretary of State has gone before.
At a time of austerity, to spend £1.7 billion on restructuring the NHS and replacing it by an untried system seems the height of folly. We must oppose this bill vigorously.
GPs are not trained to do commissioning and will have to use managers either displaced from the NHS or from private organisations. The BMA Council has elected to take part in 'constructive engagement' with the government but grassroots doctors are unhappy, particularly hospital consultants whose expertise has been ignored.