"The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it"
Aneurin Bevan

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Are you afraid of the facts?

Joe Farrington-Douglas pointed out on Twitter Lord Owen's speech, on Tuesday, about compettition and Monitor. This section is interesting:
In 2006, a Labour Government commissioned a major study on competition and the effects on the EU. It is a scandal that I have been trying for months through Freedom of Information to get hold of this document so that we would have it before this debate.

I have been obstructed at every turn by the Department of Health. Do not tell me that it wants the facts out here so that we can discuss them and know about this issue. As the noble Lord [Howe] states, as an experienced lawyer, this is an area of very great complexity and yet we are not allowed to see this study, which we have paid for. It is not the possession of the Government-it was not even commissioned by this Government-but we are not allowed to see it. What is the Freedom of Information Act about? Are you afraid of the facts? Is there something that we cannot be trusted with? We are about to legislate on a very important area, which does have an impact on the EU, and we are deprived of one of the existing studies. So, all of us have had to go around and try to get expertise in this area and it is not easy to do so.
Why can't we have this report? And could Patricia Hewitt, who was Secretary of State at the time, tell us what the report said?

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