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Doctors criticise Labour over NHS

21st May 2007

The idea that healthcare should be provided free at the point of delivery was the founding principle of the National Health Service. That is what makes a report published by a distinguished group of doctors so shocking, according to The Independent newspaper.

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The doctors have pointed out that an increasing number of patients are accessing private healthcare to "top up" what they receive from NHS services.

The newspaper says that the report reflects badly on the Government’s record on health over the past decade. The document blames the patchy provision of NHS services across the country as one of the reasons people are opting to pay for more treatment privately, not because they want a more lavish or personalised service but because they are unhappy about the treatment available on the NHS.

The Independent says that a two-tier health service is developing, despite the best efforts of Mr Blair, who proclaimed in 1997 that the electorate could "save the NHS" by voting Labour.

Those who can afford to "top up" are increasingly doing so. Those who cannot are left with a service that is frequently second-rate.

The Independent suggests this has happened not because the NHS has been “starved of funds? or because of Government obsession with “privatising? but because it has used the private sector too little to deliver NHS services.

“At the heart of the problem is the fact that the Government has soft-pedalled reform,? says the newspaper. “The enormous sums of money coming from the Treasury have often not been spent wisely.?

 


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