Southampton MPs launch #dropthebill campaign

Labour is today launching a major national drive to unite the country in a call on the Government to drop its unwanted Health and Social Care Bill.

The ‘Drop the Bill’ campaign, at www.dropthebill.com, aims to show the full scale of opposition to the Government’s plans. It will unite patients, NHS professionals and the public in a final rallying cry.

Labour’s Shadow Health team will be visiting every English region over the coming months, work-shadowing healthcare professionals and mobilising support for the campaign across the country.

John Denham, Labour MP for Southampton Itchen, said:

“Before the election David Cameron ruled out top-down NHS re-organisations. But only weeks after entering Number 10, Cameron ripped up his own words and ordered the biggest and most dangerous upheaval of the NHS since it began.

“In these tough times, the NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge in its history. But instead of focusing all of its energy on dealing with this challenge, the NHS is being distracted by a dangerous upheaval that has no democratic legitimacy.

“The ’Drop the Bill’ campaign is the final push and the Government must listen before it’s too late. They must put the NHS first.”

Alan Whitehead, Labour MP for Southampton Test, said:

“Today in Southampton there are double the number of NHS patients waiting over 18 weeks for treatment compared to when David Cameron came to power. Yet his plans encourage local hospitals to treat more private patients while NHS patients are left waiting longer.

“They create a postcode lottery in the NHS, where patients are refused treatments in one area that their friends can get in another. It amounts to a £2-3 billion waste of money, which would be better spent on medicines, equipment and staff.

“Southampton residents did not vote for it and local doctors, nurses and patients have already expressed huge concerns at the plans. Yet Cameron is ploughing on with his Health Bill, ignoring public and professional opinion.”

All residents in Southampton and across the country can sign up to the campaign to save our NHS by going to www.dropthebill.com.

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