Blair faces rebellion on foundation hospitals

Submitted by Anon on 19 March, 2003 - 9:49

By Martin Thomas

Over a hundred Labour MPs - not many fewer than voted against the Government on war in Iraq - have signed a House of Commons motion opposing New Labour's plans for "foundation hospitals".
Under this plan, selected NHS hospitals will be given financial and operational independence as "not-for-profit" enterprises. Labour MPs say that this will create a two-tier Health Service, and shift back towards the "internal market" operated in the NHS by the Tory governments under Thatcher and Major.
Back in January, 45 Labour MPs voted against the Government on this issue. All that Health Secretary Alan Milburn (above) offers as a sop is the idea that all NHS hospitals will eventually become "foundation hospitals".

Additional reason for the trade unions to declare no confidence in Blair, and to rally those Labour MPs loyal to the labour movement around a clear challenge.

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