When the Health and Social Care Act was still a parliamentary bill, Dr Kailash Chand OBE (@kailashchandOBE on Twitter) started an e-petition on the government site demanding that the bill be abandoned. The epetition.gov.uk site’s rules state that any petition reaching 100,000 signatures or more must be considered for Parliamentary debate. The petition easily exceeded 100,000 signatures, at times averaging 1000 signatures per hour – a clear sign of the wishes of the British people.
The petition was closed, and the discussion never happened. The government – as it is technically entitled to do – let the motion disappear into a parliamentary black hole.
I believe we have to maintain the assault on all possible fronts, so I’ve started another petition. However, while I’ve submitted the petition to the government site, I’m also setting it up on gopetition.com, for the reasons below:
1) The government site is likely to block the petition from even appearing on their site.
2) Even if it goes ahead, once it reaches 100,000 signatures, it is closed, limiting the number of signatures and the petition’s ability to create political pressure. I believe that far more than 100k people will sign the petition – potentially in the millions – sending a far clearer and harder-to-ignore message to the government that we will not tolerate the selling-off of our most treasured national possession.
The wording of the petition is as follows:
We, the British people, demand the immediate repeal of the Health and Social Care Act, commonly known as the NHS Reform Bill/Act, with all actions, sales and contracts under the Act to be immediately reversed.
There is no place for the profit motive in our Health Service. It is completely unacceptable for the Health Secretary to abdicate responsibility for health provision and to submit the NHS to market forces and private provision that cannot possibly offer the same services at better cost, and which will damage both patient care and NHS pay, conditions & morale, which again will be adverse for patients.
Our NHS is among the most efficient and effective in the world, and it does not require reform.
I believe this petition will strike a strong chord with the British people’s love of the NHS and distaste for the attitudes and actions of the coalition government. If you agree, please sign via the link below – and don’t stop there. Circulate it to your Twitter followers, post it on your Facebook page, link to it from your blog and do whatever else you can think of to get it known and signed as far and as fast as possible: