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Miliband: put your NHS first on Thursday

Ed Miliband will today (Monday) urge 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Labour is calling on the Conservative Party to come clean on its plans for a second term including an unpublished plan commissioned by the Government from a former supermarket executive for another re-organisation of NHS bureaucracy after the election.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.

Mr Miliband is expected to say:

“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.

“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.”

Andy Burnham, the Shadow Health Secretary said:

“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.

“David Cameron should come clean with the British people about his plans for the NHS after the election. He commissioned a major report on how to change the way the health service is run but has buried the findings.

“They won’t tell us what’s in it. They won’t tell us what they plan to do with it.

"They won’t tell us what they plan to do with the NHS. But we do know one thing.

"We know who wrote it: the Conservative peer, Lord Rose.

“Lord Rose may be good at running supermarkets. But I say to David Cameron: you can’t run the NHS like a supermarket, we don’t want a supermarket health service, so publish this report and show us what is in your secret plan.

“Now we have heard a stark warning of the truth of a second Tory term: an American-style health service where you have to pay to be seen, from the people who know what one looks like.

“David Cameron legislated without the permission of the public to allow English hospitals to earn up to half their income from treating private patients. The longer his Act stays in place, the more our hospitals will become like US hospitals.

“American doctors are sounding the alarm that what happens there is beginning to happen here: pay-as-you-go health care, coming soon to a hospital near you. They know the signs. We know the signs. We know where these Tory plans are
leading us. The evidence is clear: a Tory second term means the stealth privatisation of the NHS.

"Labour will repeal David Cameron's privatisation Act and put the right values back at the heart of the NHS - patients before profits."

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