A bill designed to curb the private sector’s role in the NHS has officially passed its first parliamentary hurdle.
Under the bill, compulsory tendering for NHS contracts would stop, and any income generated by private patients for the NHS will be restricted. Despite being backed strongly by votes (241 to 18), due to it being a private member’s bill there is a very slim chance that it will become a law.
The government insisted the motivation for this bill came from the desire to ensure care was ‘delivered in the right way for patients’. The bill was brought in by Labour MP, Clive Efford who said it would ‘cut the heart out’ of the coalition’s reforms.
The bill restores the ultimate responsibility for the NHS to the health secretary, stop NHS hospitals earning up to 49% of their income from private patients, and would also exempt the NHS from the TTIP, an EU-US trade treaty.
Critics fear TTIP could lead to American companies suing future governments for reversing privatisation. Those voted for the bill also included seven Lib Dems and two Conservative rebels.