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Miliband and Cameron clash over NHS shake-up

26th January 2012

Labour leader Ed Miliband has clashed with David Cameron during Prime Minister’s Questions over plans to restructure the NHS.

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Mr Miliband urged the Prime Minister to drop the plans and said: “This is a bill nobody wants. It's opposed by the doctors, the nurses and the patients.”

However, Mr Cameron defended the plan saying the reforms would improve the NHS and that thousands of GPs supported implementing the changes which sees family doctors being put in charge of much of the NHS budget.

The NHS is also being opened up to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

Mr Cameron also said that £7bn of the £20bn in savings the NHS is required to make had already been found and accused Labour of panicking.

He said: “If you introduce choice, if you introduce transparency, if you introduce competition, if you say the private and voluntary sectors should play a greater role, of course you face a challenge. But that is what doing the right thing is sometimes all about.”

But the Labour leader said the Prime Minister should listen to the views of doctors, nurses and unions who are opposed to the plans and accused him of being “out of touch.”

In addition, the health select committee has also raised concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill, saying the overhaul was hindering the ability of the NHS to make the savings it needs to safeguard its future.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the changes were “essential” for improving the NHS.

 

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