Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham is calling on local people to join the fight to protect the National Health Service in the face of the Coalition’s proposals, which will see the NHS reduced to little more than a brand name for privatised local services.
Following a rallying meeting in Westminster with frontline workers from the public services union UNISON, Alex questioned how the Government’s plans could possibly help improve the care of local patients. The Coalition’s proposals will see the end of national waiting time targets, increase the postcode lottery for patients, and force local doctors to spend more time on bureaucratic long-term planning of services, rather than medical care.
Speaking after the event, Alex said:
“The Coalition’s health plans are ill-thought through and extremely damaging. The ultimate outcome will be the end of the NHS as we know it.
“I know how much local cancer patients have valued waiting times dropping from months to weeks over the past few years. But the Government’s plans will almost certainly turn back the clock on this achievement and we’ll be back to the bad old days. That means people with enough money will jump waiting queues, regardless of how serious their condition. I just don’t think that is fair.
“Doctors, nurses, hospital staff and patient groups have all said they are really worried about the proposals. I’m going to do all I can to defend our NHS and I urge local people to join together to fight for the future of our health service.
Karen Jennings, Head of Health at UNISON said:
“Every community’s health services are going to be disrupted and damaged by the Government’s reckless and untested plans. At this time of unprecedented cuts, it seems utterly ridiculous to undermine the health services that people value so highly. UNISON is proud that MPs like Alex are willing to stand up and defend our NHS, and we’ll support them any way we can.”