Labour leader Ed Miliband today has urged the British people to put the NHS first, saying there is no bigger choice for the future of their family and country than what happens to the health service. Labour is calling on the Conservative Party to come clean on its plans for a second term including an unpublished plan commissioned by the Government from a former supermarket executive for another re-organisation of NHS bureaucracy after the election.
Evidence of growing privatisation in the health service is even causing alarm bells to ring on the other side of the Atlantic with a letter published today from US doctors warning that on the current course Britain’s NHS is on a “slippery slope” to pay-as-you-go health care. The Labour leader will describe the choice between two visions: more privatisation, reorganisation and longer waits with a Tory second term or Labour’s plan to protect and improve the NHS by putting the right values back at its heart.
He will set out how only Labour has a fully-funded plan for decisive action with real money to stop the NHS sliding backwards and halt the drift to privatisation in the first days of the next government. His remarks will be made in Brighton alongside Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, and Delia Smith – who is throwing her support behind Labour’s campaign today because of her concerns for the future of the NHS.
Ed Miliband said: "In the final days few days of this General Election, the future of the NHS is at risk in the way it hasn’t been for a generation. We know that if David Cameron wins a second term there will be a drive for more privatisation, more broken promises and more people waiting longer for treatment. In this election , you have the chance to put the NHS first by voting Labour on Thursday. There is no bigger choice at this election than the future direction of our National Health Service, the bedrock of security for so many working people in our country."
Mr Miliband continued: "But our NHS is in huge danger. It’s fighting for its life because of choices this Government has made. We’ve got people queuing out the doors of GPs’ surgeries, unable to see a doctor, one million people last year waiting over 4 hours in A&E, seriously ill people lying on trolleys in corridors for hours on end, we’ve even seen a treatment tent put up in a hospital car park. David Cameron calls his record a success. It’s not a success. It’s a disgrace.“ I know what makes the NHS strong: care, compassion and co-operation, not privatization, fragmentation and competition."
"So in our first 100 days we’ll put before Parliament a bill to repeal the Tories’ terrible Health and Social Care Act, stopping the drive towards privatisation. And where private companies are involved in delivering NHS-funded clinical services, we will cap the profits they can take out of the public purse. This is part of Labour’s better plan for a better NHS, a plan that prepares our National Health Service for the challenges of the future, a fully-funded plan that’s built on solid foundations, a plan that can give our health service the time to care and give Britain the NHS we want: an NHS with people at its heart, an NHS that inspires the country; an NHS that will once again lead the world." Ed Miliband added.