Mark Simmonds, the Tory MP who will speak at the 29 February “Winning Business in the New NHS” event, and a shadow health minister while in opposition, gets £50,000 a year for ten hours a month “consulting” from Circle, who on 1 February became the first private health care firm to take over an NHS hospital (Hinchingbrooke, in Cambridgeshire).
Andrew Lansley, currently Tory health minister, got £21,000 from John Nash, boss of private health firm Care UK, in November 2009, to pay for Lansley’s private office when in opposition.
Health Alarm protest
The new “Health Alarm” mobilising committee is organising a protest on Wednesday 29 February outside the “Winning Business in the New NHS” conference.
The conference sums up what the Health and Social Care Bill is all about. Private profiteers will pay £354 a head to attend this business conference and find out best how to gouge profits from the new, semi-privatised, Tory NHS.
Health Alarm says: “There's no time for complacency. There is still time to stop the Coalition’s Health and Social Care Bill, which is set to strike a massive and grievous blow to the NHS.
“We are launching a mobilising committee which will complement other lobbying and campaigning efforts on the NHS by organising and publicising street protests and rank-and-file action to demand the bill is withdrawn and to put forward a positive plan to rebuild the National Health Service.
“We demand also the repeal of the cuts to the NHS, the liberation of the NHS from extortionate PFI charges, the reversal of the marketisation already imposed.
“We call on the Labour Party to publicly reaffirm Andy Burnham's promise that a future Labour government will reverse marketisation of the NHS by this government.”
Initial signatories include: David Price (Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry), John McDonnell MP, Jade Lori Baker (NUS Women's Committee), Michael Chessum (NUS National Executive), Alison Brown (Sheffield Save Our NHS), Dave Osler (author and journalist), and Daniel Lemberger Cooper (vice-president-elect University of London Union) (all in personal capacity).
The big general union Unite has called a protest and lobby of Parliament against the NHS Bill for 7 March. It will run from 1pm at Westminster, and be followed at 6pm by a TUC “Save the NHS” rally in Central Hall, Westminster.
Unite says:”The coalition’s Health and Social Care Bill, which is currently making its way through the House of Lords, will destroy the NHS that we know and love. Your help is needed to kill this bill. Time is running out. If we don't act now the Bill will soon be law.
“Unite wants this to be the biggest ever lobby of parliament”.
• Transport here.