Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Health
28 June 2011

The doctors still won’t back Cameron

The British Medical Association votes for the health bill to be withdrawn.

By George Eaton

David Cameron may insist that he wants to “trust” NHS professionals but it seems that they still don’t trust him. On the day that the health and social care bill was sent back to committee, the British Medical Association has voted for it to be withdrawn. Significantly, delegates ignored BMA leader Dr Hamish Meldrum, who called for them to improve the bill, rather than reject it, and voted in favour of the motion by 59 per cent to 41 per cent.

Cameron, who once complained that the BMA was just like “every other trade union”, isn’t likely to lose any sleep over this one. But it’s further evidence that the government’s “listening exercise” left many dissatisfied

A leader in the current edition of the British Medical Journal also calls for the bill to be withdrawn:

“In January we judged it too early to let the Health and Social Care Bill out of the lab. Its proposals had no clear rationale, lacked coherence, and looked like costing more than they would save. Since then, the bill’s flaws have become only more obvious.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

“Instead of further tinkering, it would be better for the NHS, the government, and the people of England to sweep the bill’s mangled remains into an unmarked grave and move on.”

With Evan Harris and other Lib Dems threatening a new rebellion over “privatisation through another route”, Cameron’s NHS headache is far from over.