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Fighting for the future of the NHS

Save-the-NHSWe face an important choice at the next election. Over the weekend UKIP have aligned themselves to the Tories, promising to prop up another Tory led Coalition Government.

This comes as little surprise with UKIP being the home of disenchanted Thatcherite Tories. They are funded by former Tory donors with almost £9 in every £10 the party receives coming from Ex-Tory backers. Their only two MPs, Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, were Conservative MPs less than six months ago, supporting the government’s attacks on communities like ours and the destruction of the NHS, positions which they now disown.

The final confirmation about UKIP came this weekend, when their leader, a former Tory himself, who believes he is the only politician “keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive”, promised to do a post-election deal to keep Cameron in power.

The prospect of a Conservative/UKIP pact worries all of us who have been campaigning to protect and safeguard the future of our NHS over the last five years.

The Tories Health and Social Care Act opened up the NHS to the wholesale privatisations, with the fragmentation of services undermining the co-operation which is required to integrate health and social care. While UKIP’s policy on the NHS is ambiguous at best, and intentionally misleading at worst.

Any promise to protect the NHS always rings hollow when in private Nigel Farage advocates a privately run insurance based health system, or their deputy leader Paul Nuttall congratulates the coalition for “bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered NHS” believing that the “very existence of the NHS stifles competition”.

I accept there are people who believe we should privatise the NHS, and for those UKIP is certainly your natural home. However, I believe the vast majority of people in Britain support the fundamental principle of the NHS, a universal health service based on a person’s need and not their ability to pay.

At the next election I will be fighting against those parties that want to privatise and break up our NHS.

I am delighted that Labour have put the NHS at the heart of our election campaign, promising an NHS with time to care, through a single joined up service from home to hospital, guaranteeing access to GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week. All supported by 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and a new arm of the NHS with 5,000 homecare workers supporting people in their home, working with integrated care teams, as well as supporting the terminally ill to be with family at the end of life.

I believe politics does make a difference and the NHS proves it. While we take it for granted, we do so at our own risk. It is a service which we must continue to fight and protect, a commitment which every generation must renew.

In less than 50 days you will get to decide the future direction for the NHS, it is a decision none of us can afford to take lightly.

One Comment

  1. Robert says:

    These same people use to be out side saying to labour do not sell off our NHS the question is then whom do we vote for to save our NHS labour not likely is it Miliband is just a puppet put in place by the Union so they could control him, or a right wing Progress person like Murphy or Reeves.

    So in the end whom do we vote for to save the NHS answer nobody.

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