RCP survey reveals most members reject Health Bill

Friday 16 March 2012

Members of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have overwhelmingly voted to reject the Health and Social Care Bill.

In a survey 69 per cent of 8,878 physicians who responded to the poll rejected the Bill. Only 6 per cent (525) accepted it. Just over a fifth (1,971) 'neither completely accept, nor completely reject' the Bill.

Some 46 per cent of respondents wanted the RCP to continue to engage 'critically' on further improving the Bill; but 49 per cent wanted the RCP to seek withdrawal of the Bill.

The college has a total membership of 25,417. The survey took place between 5-15 of March.

RCP president Sir Richard Thompson said: 'We believe that this is the single biggest survey among the medical royal colleges, with the highest turnout, and while it shows there is a clear majority of RCP's fellows and members who would personally reject the Bill, opinion is divided almost equally on whether the RCP should continue to critically engage or now call for the withdrawal of the Bill.

'The areas of most concern to RCP fellows and members are the areas on which we have been strongly lobbying government, MPs, peers and other stakeholders: training, education and research; use of the private sector; commissioning by clinical commissioning groups; and choice and competition.'

The results are roughly in line with those of other royal colleges such as nursing, midwives and GPs. They also mirror opposition by organisations such as the BMA.

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