Dr West who has been campaigning against government proposals for the NHS took his campaign to the Liberal Democrat Conference in Sheffield last March with great success. He is hoping to repeat his success this time in Birmingham.
Dr West said:
â€œLiberal Democrats have been working away for months to reduce damage that the NHS reforms would cause. Nick Clegg successfully negotiated major changes to the Health Bill, but when we looked carefully at the amendments that the government agreed the damaging parts had simply been moved. Negotiating with Andrew Lansley is like pushing your finger into a balloon. You may push it in at one place, but it pops out somewhere else.
â€œLansleyâ€™s plans will allow the Secretary of State to wash his hands of responsibility for delivering healthcare in England. The NHS in England is to be broken up. Hospitals will be expected to compete, and the less successful ones will be allowed to go bankrupt. Hospitals in more rural areas like Shrewsbury could be very vulnerable.
â€œPrivate companies are to be allowed to take over parts of the NHS, and even run whole areas. In my view it is not acceptable for Â£80bn of tax-payers money to be handed over to private companies who will be responsible to their shareholders and not to democratically elected ministers.
â€œIt is highly embarrassing to the government that only this week eMails have leaked out showing that negotiations are under way for American companies to take over British hospitals.
â€œI do welcome the involvement of doctors in running the NHS. Unfortunately they will be so tangled up in red tape and EU competition law that they will probably finish up wishing that they had stayed in their Practices treating patients.â€