Protest over NHS 'corporate takeover' bill to take place in Ipswich

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A protest over a health bill will be taking place in Ipswich tomorrow - Credit: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Protesters will tomorrow (Saturday, February 26) gather in Ipswich to voice their concerns over the Government's Health and Care bill, dubbed 'the NHS corporate takeover bill', currently going through Parliament.

The demonstration is in response to a call from a coalition of trades unions and campaign groups nationally under the umbrella title of SOSNHS.

It will take place at 11am opposite Boots in Tavern Street.

The legislation will be discussed in the House of Lords next week before it returns to the House of Commons. 

As it stands the legislation would create 42 Integrated Care Systems in England, each with a fixed budget, and with the prospect of private companies being on the boards to run these systems.

Anthony Dooley, secretary of Suffolk UNITE Community, on behalf of East Anglia People before Profit, said access to health should be a human right, and the campaign is calling for the reinstatement of the NHS according to its original fundamental principles, publicly funded and publicly provided, free and available at the point of need.

But the protest will have two other demands - firstly, a call for the immediate injection of £20billion into the NHS to address the chronic backlog of waiting times for elective procedures and other health needs, and a demand that all NHS staff should receive a substantial pay increase.

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Government says the Bill aims to bring together local NHS and local government, such as social care, mental health services and public health advice, to deliver "joined-up care" at a local level.

It said: "Clinicians, carers and public health experts will be empowered to operate collaboratively across health and care, as part of plans to tackle inequalities and level up health across the country. The Bill will also introduce measures to tackle obesity and improve oral health."