The Faculty of Public Health has joined the growing list of professional bodies calling for the Health Bill to be withdrawn.
The move follows a ballot of the faculty’s membership which itself followed an emergency general meeting on 25 January. At that meeting, those members present voiced their opposition to the bill but the faculty leadership opted to survey the entire membership before taking a firm position.
In a statement released today, the faculty said 93 per cent of those responding to the survey said the bill, if passed, would damage the NHS and the health of people in England. Three quarters called on the faculty to demand the complete withdrawal of the bill.
It received around 1,350 responses to the survey, representing about 40 per cent of its 3,300 total membership.
Faculty president Lindsey Davies said: “Based on our members’ expert views, it has become increasingly clear that the bill will lead to a disorganised NHS with increased health inequalities, more bureaucracy and wasted public funds.
“The bill will increase health inequalities because there is the real danger that vulnerable groups like homeless people will not be included when health services are being planned. Clinical commissioning groups and service providers will be able to pick and choose what procedures they perform and which services they put in place.”
Professor Davies added: “We are now calling on the government to withdraw the bill in its entirety, because it would be in the best interests of everyone’s health.
“Like our members, we make decisions based on the best available evidence, and we have a clear mandate from them to take this position. We do not do this lightly. We will continue to do all we can to take make sure this bill is fit for purpose.”