Hackney residents and health workers joined a national campaign outside the House of Lords on Wednesday in protest over proposed NHS reforms.
The demo, organised by the Hackney division of ‘Keep Our NHS Public’, took place while the controversial Health and Social Care Bill was being scrutinised by the chamber.
The picket started at 2pm with protestors chanting and singing in the bitter cold till past 8pm.
The Bill, which will see a controversial change to the health service, has been met with much resistance since Health Secretary Andrew Lansley introduced it in January 2011. The Royal College of GP’s, Nursing, Midwives, Physiotherapists and the British Medical Association all openly oppose it.
Lansley claims the bill will improve patient care and choice, make services more accountable and decrease bureaucracy.
As EastLondonLines reported on Wednesday, Hackney GPs and protestors believe otherwise.
Dr Jackie Davis, Consultant Radiologist and Founder Member of Keep Our NHS Public Campaign said: “We have to constantly challenge this assertion – that no change is not an option. Of course we have to improve the NHS and we’re not saying it’s perfect. But it’s a very good, very popular health service that produces good outcomes and it’s completely wrong to reform it.”
Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told parliament on Wednesday night that there is not an alternative to the Bill, and no other way to move ahead with reforms without it. The planned NHS reforms will continue to be pushed ahead despite the protest.
Video by Albert Steinberger and Rosie Thompson