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Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick on protecting our NHS

PUBLISHED: 10:34 03 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:35 03 December 2014

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Labour MP Clive Efford’s Bill on the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) received its second reading with 241 votes to 18.

It is now being decided by government whether to let the Bill go to the Committee Stage.

The Bill will repeal some of the more controversial elements of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 supported by the current government. I supported the Bill in response to the overwhelming amount of emails I have received from my constituents in Poplar and Limehouse voicing their concerns.

If passed, it will exempt our NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Treaty (TTIP). This will mean our NHS will be legally immune from procurement or competition obligations, thus ensuring it is protected from foreign health care providers and remaining entirely our health service.

I am concerned that without the passing of this Bill, our NHS will be open to competition and private interests, particularly from US healthcare providers which may eventually lead to a wholly privatised health service in the UK. It is also important to ensure the NHS is providing the best possible care in the best possible interests of its patients - us, and this Bill will seek to do this by repealing some of the worst elements of our existing legislature.

I believe supporting this is the decent and right thing to do, it will ultimately put patients’ needs above profit which the NHS is not currently bound by law to do. The Bill undoubtedly received a negative reception from the Tories; however, I am glad to say I voted to save the NHS from the clutches of private interests.

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