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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Is David Cameron still wanting to privatise the NHS?

David Cameron has long been part of the Conservative Party that has wanted to privatise the NHS, or at least parts of it, bit by bit, even masterminding the last Conservative manifesto.

David Cameron has tried to distance himself from such comments including distancing himself from one of his MEPs, Daniel Hannan who launched a scathing attack on the NHS while he was in America.

Although he did not discipline the MEP, David Cameron said: "I don't agree with Daniel Hannan. The Conservative party stands full square behind the NHS."

However, thanks to The Daily Telegraph for uncovering that David Cameron had a meeting with a group in his private office, nothing wrong there you say, but the group he met was none other than the radical group Nurses for Reform.

Director Helen Evans who writes on the Nurses for Reform blog is pictured with a seriously embarrassed looking David Cameron at their meeting.

This group does not appear to rule out the privatisation of the NHS, in fact I would go as far as to say they openly welcome it. The group, which describes itself as a "pan-European network of nurses" dedicated to health care reform across the world, says the government should "recast" the NHS as "simply a funder of last resort alongside an insurance and self-funder based market."

"Moreover, NFR believes that all hospitals in Europe should be allowed to openly compete with each other. If a hospital fails in the market it should either close or be taken over by a more successful organisation."

As the Daily Telegraph also says this meeting risks reigniting the NHS privatisation row which exploded once again four months ago when David Cameron was forced to distance himself from Tory MEP Daniel Hannan who had suggested that the NHS was a "mistake".

The Tory leader's meeting with the Director of NFR, Helen Evans, is revealed on her groups blog where she claims she was invited by him to present the group's ideas.

I think this firmly shows that David Cameron has not yet convinced himself that privatising the NHS is such a bad thing or he would not have made time to meet the Director of the group who is convinced privatisation is the way forward also.

Whereas the Liberal Democrats believe that patients must come first and that services would improve if local people had a say in how the NHS is run.

We believe in fairness with entitlements to healthcare guaranteed. We believe access to personal care should be based on need not the ability to pay. And we believe that patients should always come first.

We will scrap central targets and guarantee that you get your treatment on time. We will give people the power to stop hospital closures in their area through elected local health boards. And we will put doctors and nurses back in charge of their hospitals and wards.

You can read more about what the Liberal Democrats would do for the NHS here.

1 comment:

Alec said...

>> Whereas the Liberal Democrats believe that patients must come first

Playing Devil's Advocate, I've no doubt that's precisely what Cameron and those nurses believe. The NHS was founded when individuals could be expected to live only a few years after they stopped paying taxes, and had rudimentary provisions in mind.

We're now in a situation with the expectation of a highly developed tertiary service, and where it's almost considered to be a World Health Service (as shown with the indignation over Ama Sumani)

>> and that services would improve if local people had a say in how the NHS is run.

Would that not remove a national component and potentially introduce post-code lotteries?

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