NHS overhaul plans pass first Commons hurdle

Published on Tuesday, 01 February 2011 10:02
Posted by Scott Buckler

Controversial plans to overhaul the NHS in England have passed their first Commons hurdle after a six-hour debate


Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said they would make the NHS "fit for the demands of the 21st Century". But Labour said "free market political ideology" was driving a plan that would break up the NHS.

The bill was backed by 321 to 235 at second reading. No coalition MPs voted against the government although Lib Dem Andrew George deliberately abstained.Mr George had indicated during the debate that he would not vote for the plans, which he said were "well intentioned" but needed "major surgery".

Earlier David Cameron admitted his brother-in-law, a hospital doctor, had told him of doubts among colleagues about the plans. MPs have been debating the Health and Social Care Bill, which includes plans for all 151 primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to be disbanded.

The bill still has further Parliamentary stages to go.So far, 141 GP consortiums, serving more than half of the population of England, have signed up as "pathfinders" to pilot the new arrangements.

Source: ©BBC News

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