Emma votes to protect NHS from privatisation

November 25, 2014

131015 - ELB at DPMQsLast Friday (21 November) Emma spoke in favour of a Labour Bill that would reverse the Coalition’s damaging NHS reforms and protect the health service from privatisation.

Emma backed Clive Efford MP’s National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill, which would repeal the sections of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that opened up the NHS to competition.

Emma said:

“The NHS is more than just a service; it is a principle of fairness. Illness and accidents strike us all at some point, often without warning and leaving us little time to plan, and before the NHS, this kind of misfortune could destroy lives and condemn families to extreme poverty. Now we have a service that says nobody, whether rich or poor, should have their life ruined by misfortune. That is the principle that my hon. Friends and I are standing up for today.”

Emma and other Labour MPs voted for the Bill, which passed its second reading by 239 votes to 20. You can read Emma’s speech, along with the rest of the debate, by clicking here.

Unfortunately the Bill will not become law unless the Government allocates time in Parliament for it to be debated in committee, which appears unlikely to happen.

But a Labour government in 2015 would be able to reverse the Coalition’s reforms, and Ed Miliband has pledged that his government would do just that. Labour will also invest £2.5 billion in the NHS through its Time to Care fund to hire 8,000 new GPs and 20,000 nurses.

On Thursday evening Emma met with campaigners determined to save the NHS, who camped outside Parliament as part of the Big NHS Sleepout. Emma also joined protestors from across South Tyneside on the People’s March for the NHS, as they recreated the route of the famous Jarrow March to protest against privatisation of health services.

Speaking after the debate on Friday, Emma said:

“Our NHS is one of our great national treasures, and I want to do everything I can to defend it. Labour MPs stood up for the principles of the NHS today, and will be fighting hard for a Labour government in 2015 that will save our NHS from the Tories’ privatisation agenda.”

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