Bloomberg News

Cameron Urged to ‘Bury’ Health Bill by British Medical Journal

June 27, 2011

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- The British Medical Journal urged David Cameron’s government to abandon its legislation overhauling the National Health Service, “sweep the bill’s mangled remains into an unmarked grave and move on.”

The journal is published by the British Medical Association, which represents the interests of doctors. Cameron and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley have already retreated from their original proposal to put family practitioners in charge of most of the NHS budget in the face of resistance from those working in the health system. The BMJ said today that the remaining plans lack a rationale.

“The breakneck speed that has characterized the legislative program since the beginning has been both unnecessary and counterproductive,” the journal said in an editorial. “Only a handful of companies in the world exceed the 100 billion-pound ($160 billion) turnover of the English NHS; none would have embarked on change in this harebrained fashion.”

Since he became leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, Cameron has made winning public trust on handling of the state- funded NHS, which offers free care to all, a priority. The article suggests that he may have to tone down his plans ever more if he is to win back the support of the medical profession.

--Editors: Eddie Buckle, Andrew Atkinson

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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