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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Cameron must move on health reform

8th March 2008

Writing in the Sunday Times, Martin Ivens outlines why he’s not a great fan of the NHS as it stands at present.


Conservative leader David Cameron and his shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley may “love the NHS? as it is. But I don’t.

When he became party leader, every opinion poll indicated the public didn’t trust the Tories with the NHS, however Cameron then set out on an approach of “evolution, not revolution? and decided to match any Labour increases in health spending.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown responded, most notably with plans to replace GP practices and accident and emergency units with “polyclinics?. Also scorned by the badly negotiated GP contract, he sent Alan Johnson from education to health to “quieten things down.?

But what we still have is an NHS where “nothing very much is happening any time soon.?

Money is still being wasted, cancer figures are worse than most of Europe, it is difficult to see a GP out of hours and there is still the north-south divide - in favour of the south.

Lansley has suggested there will be a massive increase on health spending to 11% of GDP and that his party will not longer “fiddle with the NHS like new Labour?.

But now is the time for the Conservative Party to raise its game on the NHS and for David Cameron to offer Gordon Brown a challenge on health reform. Failure to do so will see a great opportunity lost and be another decade wasted in the development of the NHS.


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