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 Wakefield and the whole country.
But our local 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. In West Yorkshire alone we’ve lost over 1,000 nurses.
Before the last election, David Cameron promised no top-down re-organisation of the NHS and then embarked on the biggest ever which wasted £3 billion.
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 from US doctorswarning that on the current course Britain’s NHS is on a “slippery slope” to pay-as-you-go health care.
Ed Miliband has set out 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.
The NHS embodies 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. Labour will protect the NHS.