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Medical profession is divided over whether to demand health bill’s withdrawal

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 27 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e720
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

Disagreement among key professional bodies has left the medical profession divided over whether to increase pressure on the coalition government to scrap its planned changes for the NHS in England.

Talks on the evening of 24 January between the members of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges ended in disarray when the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists refused to sign a draft statement calling for the withdrawal of the Health and Social Care Bill.

The draft statement, which was widely leaked to the press, said that the bill should be withdrawn because without modification it “may widen rather than lessen health inequalities and that unnecessary competition will undermine the provision of high quality integrated care to patients.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that it had not seen the draft statement but that its position had not changed: it was continuing to work with the government to improve the health bill.

A spokesman for the Royal College of Surgeons said that the statement drafted by the …

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