The doctors have accused the coalition of putting its interests ahead of professional opinion
5:55am UK, Sunday March 18, 2012
A group of doctors plan to field candidates against high-profile coalition MPs at the next general election in protest at controversial health reforms.
"It is our view that coalition MPs and peers have placed the political survival of the coalition Government above professional opinion, patient safety and the will of the citizens of this country," they wrote.
In a letter to the Independent on Sunday, a group of 240 doctors, including 30 professors, said the shake-up "fundamentally undermines the founding principles" of the NHS.
"We are shocked by the failure of the democratic process and the facilitating role played by the Liberal Democrats in the passage of this Bill.
"We have therefore decided to form a coalition of healthcare professionals to take on coalition MPs at the next general election, on the non-party, independent ticket of defending the NHS."
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is accosted by an angry health worker
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, the architect of the changes, are expected to be among the politicians targeted by the initiative at the election, due in 2015.
The Health and Social Care Bill faces another hurdle on Monday when peers are likely to vote on whether to delay it pending possible publication of a confidential risk assessment drawn up by civil servants.
A Department of Health appeal against an order by the Information Commissioner to publish the "transition risk register" was thrown out by a tribunal last week.
Ministers have said they will not decide whether to launch a further appeal until they have seen the full judgment by the Information Rights Tribunal.
But former doctor and SDP leader Lord Owen has put down a motion which would delay the third reading of the Bill until after the Government has responded to the full judgment or until "the last practical opportunity" for agreeing the measures before the end of the parliamentary session in early May.
The letter to the Independent on Sunday was organised by Dr Clive Peedell, a cancer specialist and co-chair of the NHS Consultants' Association, who told the newspaper he had originally hoped to get just 50 names.
His group would field "as many candidates as possible" at the election, he said, with other supporters involved in fundraising and organisational roles.
Source : Sky News