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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Teenager who beat cancer to run as MP

A young man who beat life-threatening cancer as a teenager and then went on to become a doctor is running for Parliament to stand up for the NHS that saved his life.

26 year old John Lamport from Nottingham was diagnosed with testicular cancer when he was 16 - but was too busy revising for his GCSEs that he didn't seek help immediately. By the time he did, the cancer had spread and he had to undergo nine months of gruelling chemotherapy.

Now he's running for Parliament in Nottingham East for the National Health Action Party, the fast-growing political party that was launched in 2012 in opposition to the coalition's top-down NHS reorganisation, recently condemned by a leading health think-tank as "damaging and distracting” and dismissed by Tory insiders as “unintelligible gobbledygook."

The NHA Party has already announced it's fielding ​​a dozen candidates at the general election including co-leaders Dr Clive Peedell ​challenging David Cameron ​ in Witney and Dr Richard Taylor, the former MP who won 2 elections fighting to save his local Kidderminster Hospital​, standing again in Wyre Forest. ​GP Dr Louise Irvine, chair of the successful ​Save Lewisham Hospital campaign, is taking on Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in South West Surrey.

John Lamport, who was treated at Nottingham City Hospital and went to school in the constituency, said his experiences as a cancer patient led to him becoming a doctor, but his delay in seeking help nearly cost him his life: "I postponed going to the GP with my symptoms because of GCSE revision. When I did finally go to the doctor, I was diagnosed and had surgery within a few days. But the cancer had spread so I had nine months of chemotherapy which was horrendous. I became friends with other young lads on the ward but sadly those friends passed away. I went back to school and ran events to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Cancer Research. I was so impressed by the staff at the City Hospital, I studied for my A-levels in the ward because I was determined to become a doctor."

Continuing Dr Lamport said: "As a medical student and then a junior doctor, I've seen at first-hand how the NHS which I loved and which saved me has been damaged and
privatised, at first by Labour and then by the Tories and Lib Dems. As a doctor, you can measure these ideologically-motivated changes in terms of suffering and lives wasted. All political parties have damaged the NHS, from saddling hospitals with crippling PFI debts to encouraging private companies to bid for NHS contracts. Outsourcing healthcare creates transaction fees, bidding fees and legal fees - and companies cream off their profit from the treatment budget. This makes the NHS less efficient and worsens patient care. This seat includes the hospital where I was born, treated for cancer and later worked as a doctor. It includes the communities where I grew up."

"Every vote I win in Nottingham East is a vote for the NHS. Every vote will be a message to the Tories and Liberal Democrats that the public have had enough of damaging NHS reforms and creeping privatisation. Every vote will be warning to the sitting Labour MP Chris Leslie - 'It's not enough to call yourself the party of the NHS, you have to act like it too. You need to commit to sufficient and sustained NHS funding, scrapping the market and addressing the PFI crisis.' I didn't want to enter politics. I was happy in medicine. None of the National Health Action Party candidates are career-politicians. However, no major party is going to properly defend the NHS if we don't. That's why the National Health Action Party was born." John Lamport added.