Government faces “steep climb” to implement health bill amid professional opposition

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 21 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2243
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The health bill is expected to become law early next week after it passed its final parliamentary hurdle on 20 March in the House of Commons.

The coalition government won the final vote on the Health and Social Care Bill by a majority of 88, bringing to an end more than 12 months of debate and jostling over the new structure of the NHS in England. The Queen is expected to grant the bill royal assent in the next few days to make the bill law.

The bill is the most scrutinised piece of legislation for nearly 20 years, with more than 2000 tabled amendments and 50 days of parliamentary debate.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham promised that …

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