LONDON (Reuters) - The government has defeated attempts to derail its plans to reform the National Health Service in England after the House of Lords voted down amendments that would have killed or delayed its legislation.
Peers on Wednesday voted instead for the Health and Care Bill to continue its passage through parliament's upper chamber and will now consider its proposals over the coming months.
The reforms include sacking thousands of health administrators and putting family doctors in charge of spending 60 billion pounds of the NHS budget in a turnaround so large that the service's chief executive says it can be seen "from outer space."
Doctors and health unions had urged peers to scrap the bill over fears that plans to boost access for private companies will destabilize the cradle-to-grave service.
The government has already revised the plans once this summer, submitting more than a 1,000 amendments in a humiliating climb-down after failing to convince the medical profession its proposals were workable.