The NHS is one of our greatest achievements and our most important institution. But it’s under threat from a Tory-led government which puts privatisation before patient care.
Now more than ever we need action to save our NHS. That’s why I voted for Labour MP Clive Efford’s Bill which would scrap David Cameron’s new market framework for the NHS and ensure NHS patients are always put first.
I’m delighted that we won the vote and now the Tory-led Government needs to act to make sure the Bill is enforced so that patients are put before profits.
The NHS has never been more vulnerable than under the present government. The Tories wasted £3 billion on an unnecessary and damaging top-down NHS reorganisation. The new rules allow hospitals to earn up to 49 per cent of their income from private patients, which risks pushing NHS patients to the back of the queue. And their new competition rules force doctors to open up services to competition from the private sector.
Labour will ensure that the NHS once again puts patients before profits. We will invest the millions of pounds saved from scrapping competition red tape in ensuring people can get a GP appointment within 48 hours, or on the same day if they need it.
I had no hesitation in voting for this bill as it will make sure patients in Tooting are put first once again. The Tories haven’t just destabilised our health service; they’re holding it back from meeting the challenges of the 21st century as well. This new Bill will end the creep towards NHS privatisation, bureaucracy and red-tape, and put patients back at the heart of the NHS. Now it’s time for the Tories to listen and put this bill is enacted and patients in Tooting are prioritised once more.