HUNDREDS of people from across the Wigan borough united to show their opposition to controversial NHS reform proposals.
About 150 people, including MPs, health professionals, union representatives and scores of concerned members of the public, joined the ‘Drop the Bill’ health rally at Ince Town Hall on Friday.
The Government health bill has sparked staunch opposition up and down the country and Wigan firmly joined the debate last week with the major rally, which showed the sheer level of local public feeling towards the proposals.
The panel included Shadow Health Secretary and Leigh MP Andy Burnham, Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue, Gary Owen of Unite, Paul Foley of Unison, Bolton West MP Julie Hilling and Dr Nayyar Naqvi of Wigan Infirmary.
Dr Naqvi, consultant cardiologist, has dedicated his professional life to improving cardiology services within the borough and gave a rousing speech that got a standing ovation from the crowd.
Under the bill the NHS would be open to privatisation which speakers at the rally said would leave individual hospitals fighting against each other for patients.
Dr Naqvi said: “This bill puts a lot of emphasis on privatisation which I believe could adversely affect deprived areas as people may not get access to a first class service because it is not being offered at their local GP surgery for example.