A new political party will target the seats of some of the highest profile figures in government in a bid to overturn the health reforms, it has been announced.
National Health Action (NHA), set up by “concerned” healthcare professionals, will target constituencies held by Prime Minister David Cameron (Whitney), former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (South Cambridgeshire), Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt (South West Surrey), Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne (Tatton) and Lib Dem Minister of State for Schools and the Cabinet Office David Laws (Yeovil).
Co-leader of the party and consultant oncologist Dr Clive Peedell said the NHA party will target such seats because of the “damage their sitting MPs are inflicting on the NHS”.
“David Cameron and Andrew Lansley are the main creators of market-driven health policies which are destroying the NHS,” he said.
“David Cameron has full responsibility for pushing through the Health and Social Care Bill this year, ignoring fierce opposition from the public, the medical profession and other NHS workers."
He also blasted George Osborne for continuing to press ahead with “incredibly damaging” austerity measures and criticised him for “taking back” front-line money from the NHS.
Dr Peedell said pro-austerity agendas damaged people’s health, pushed up suicide rates and increased demand on healthcare resources. He also cast doubt over Hunt’s “credibility” as Health Secretary due to his “lack of significant experience in healthcare policy at a crucial time for the NHS”.
“NHA will send a clear message to the public that the NHS will be increasingly dismantled and handed over to the corporate sector unless we fight to maintain it as a public service, dedicated to the public interest,” he said.
The party intends to put forward candidates in up to 50 general election constituencies and will also field candidates in local government elections.
It has pledged not to stand against any candidate who shares the party’s goals for the NHS.
Dr Louise Irvine, a GP in South-East London and an executive member of the NHA party said: "Most MPs do not support these reforms because they undermine the role of GPs. They will be formed into clinical commissioning groups and have to ration and deny care to stay in budget. Patients will worry that decisions aren’t being made in their best interests. This will irreversibly damage patients’ trust in their GP, which lies at the heart of our primary care system."