Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson joined health professionals and campaigners to wish the NHS a very happy 63rd birthday.
It is 63 years since the NHS was founded. Across the UK health professionals are celebrating the NHS’ birthday whilst warning that the government’s proposed reforms will fundamentally alter the health service and undermine the basic principles on which it was founded.
Throughout the UK health professionals in their communities celebrated the NHS to remind MPs and Peers that they need to safeguard the future of the health service.
Despite the government’s response to the recent NHS Future Forum report, unions still have key concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill. These include fears about a vast and damaging extension of competition, and concerns that the abolition of the private patient income cap will see NHS patients pushed to the back of the queue as waiting lists grow and trusts prioritise care for paying patients.
Bill joined in the celebrations in Westminster hosted by the All Together for the NHS campaign.
Bill said: "The NHS was established by the Labour government after the Second World War. It is recognised as the jewel in the crown of our public services.
"The reforms which this Tory-Lib Dem government want to introduce will see the service reduced to nothing more than a series of franchises where the bottomline and not people's lives is what matters.
"We cannot sit back and allow this Tory-Lib Dem government to allow private companies to run our health service.
"What they have planned for the National Health Service is yet another betrayal by a government which is more interested in looking after big business than the people of Britain."