A recent campaign asked me to clarify my position on the NHS and privatisation. This is an area where the worst electoral politics are hard at work. The NHS is an emotive subject so scaremongering about privatisation is especially wrong.
I have recently spoken to Wycombe 38 Degrees about this issue, on camera.
In a report critical of the Government, The King’s Fund writes, “claims of mass privatisation were and are exaggerated” and “NHS providers continue to deliver the vast majority of care to NHS patients, especially in acute hospital services, and there is little evidence that this will change any time soon.”
The BBC reported:
There was also criticism of Labour, who, the King’s Fund says, is “crying wolf” with “ill-founded” claims about the NHS being privatised.
Here is Labour’s Andy Burnham facing the music on Newsnight: the vast majority of outsourcing in the NHS was done under Labour.
The Conservative Party is committed to healthcare free at the point of use. The NHS Constitution remains in place. I have expressed a preference for a mutual future for our hospitals, extending the Foundation Trust model which Labour introduced.
Conservative economic plans mean that the Government has been able to increase the NHS budget by £12.7 billion this Parliament. Since 2010, there are over 9,000 more doctors in the NHS, over 7,000 more nurses and 2,000 more midwives. More people are being treated to a higher standard in a transformed culture under the Conservatives and public satisfaction with the NHS is at an all time high.
Labour cannot bear it. As I have written before, anyone watching last Wednesday’s PMQs may have seen me next to Charlotte Leslie as she asked the PM,
Does he share my concern that the objective scrutiny role of the Select Committee system has been fundamentally undermined by Labour’s refusal even to discuss a draft report, having heard evidence of decreased administrative costs since the health reforms, privatisation slowing since 2005, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership not posing a threat to the NHS, no charges or top-ups introduced, and no plans to do so, and does he agree — [Interruption…] — that refusing even to discuss that flies in the face of our public—[Interruption.]
The Prime Minister replied:
My hon. Friend makes a very important point. That Select Committee report has been held back because Labour Members of Parliament do not want to tell the truth about our national health service; they are only interested in trying to weaponise it. The fact is that there are more doctors and more nurses and more operations are being carried out. That is the truth, and it is disgraceful that Labour is trying to cover it up, just as it did in office.
My post bag and inbox have always reflected constituents’ anxieties about healthcare. It is shameful that Labour have chosen to exploit those fears for electoral advantage.
My commitment to healthcare in Wycombe is unwavering. I will continue to fight for the best health services in Wycombe and to hold the NHS to account for the decisions they make on our behalf, locally and nationally.