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Help the BMA repeal health reforms

Doctors and medical students are being urged to help the BMA petition the government to repeal the Health and Social Care Act.

An online petition calls for fresh debate on the NHS, as political consensus grows over the need for better integration of health services.

The association maintains that collaboration, not competition, is more likely to allow greater integration of hospital and community services.

It held a parliamentary seminar last month to mark the first anniversary of the act’s formal implementation in England, which examined how to make the NHS fit for the future without more top-down reorganisation.

BMA medical students committee deputy chair 2013 Will Sapwell, serious BMA medical students committee joint deputy chair Will Sapwell (pictured), who attended the seminar, submitted the official e-petition to the government website this week. 

He said: 'We won't necessarily see the worst impact of the Health and Social Care Act for a few years yet. I'm left pondering whether the NHS I intend to work for as a consultant or GP will bear any resemblance to the NHS I am graduating into. 

'It is only one year since the Act was implemented but I am already concerned that by the time I am senior enough to affect change on a managerial level, NHS services will have been fully fragmented. 

‘However, damage is already being done — time is of the essence. This is why I am doing what I can right right now to defend the patients I will care for and the NHS I love.'

Damaging reforms

BMA council chair Mark Porter said the association’s campaign highlighted the damage done to the NHS following the introduction of the act.

He said: ‘The time has come for a fresh debate on the NHS, and while no one wants to see money wasted on another wholesale reorganisation, we need an NHS that works for our members and for the benefit of patients. The only way to reverse the damage done is for the act to be repealed. 

‘To get the debate back on the political agenda, an e-petition has been submitted calling for exactly that.

‘It is important that we, as doctors, sign up to the petition as soon as possible, but also share it via email and social media to friends and colleagues and make sure that one year on our voices are fully heard.’

If the e-petition gains at least 100,000 signatures, it could be considered for debate in the Commons.

 Sign the petition

 Find out more about the BMA campaign

 Join the discussion about repealing the act in BMA Communities

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