Protests against the NHS reforms passed in Parliament this week will continue over the weekend after campaigners gathered outside the Bristol Royal Infirmary yesterday.
They are due to return to the BRI this lunchtime and later this afternoon, to voice their anger at the plans.
On Saturday, dozens of people are expected to attend a rally at the fountains opposite the Bristol Hippodrome in the city centre.
Protester Andrew McCarthy said this morning: “It feels like we have sleepwalked into letting a Bill be passed which threatens the very basis of healthcare in the UK.
“But it’s not too late. Unpopular legislation has been overturned in the past after being made law – the Poll Tax, for example. If enough people fight against this Bill, we can do the same thing and win back the NHS from the Tories and their greedy friends.”
Meanwhile, South Bristol GP, Helen Mutch added: ”The government has pushed this Bill through despite massive opposition from the vast majority of NHS professionals. GPs have voted overwhelmingly against the changes but feel they have no choice but to form commissioning groups or be left with no voice at all.
“We will now be asked to implement huge cuts in NHS provision and to buy services from profit-making private companies who will pick off cheap and easy services. The NHS will be left struggling to look after the chronically sick, complex patients.
“Our job now is to keep this Bill in the news and make sure changes which damage the NHS are challenged. The NHS is the envy of the world. We can’t afford to lose it.”
The legislation passed this week abolishes Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts and give much greater control over care budgets and commissioning decisions to GPs and other health professionals.