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Saturday 17th March 2018

Row over state of the NHS

5th November 2009

The government and the Conservatives have clashed over a report into the state of the NHS.


The row comes with a general election only months away and the NHS likely to be a key issue in voters’ minds.

A report from the think tank the Commonwealth Fund, based on a poll of more than 10,000 doctors, suggested the NHS compared favourably with services in other countries.

Labour says the document, which looked at 11 health systems including America, Australia, France and Germany, showed that its reforms of the NHS were working.

However, the Tories say other data from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development on outcomes such as success in treating disease and the numbers surviving disease was showing that the health service had got worse under the Labour government.

The Commonwealth Fund report, launched in the US, said 51% of GPs in the UK felt the health service was improving and also scored it well on access to specialist care, out-of-hours provision and use of electronic records.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham described the detail in the document as “an important moment for the NHS” and claimed the Conservatives represented a danger to the NHS.

"The journey to overhaul the quality of care over the last 10 years has paid off," he said.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Labour have trebled the amount we spend on the NHS, but these figures show that they have failed to get taxpayers a good return for their investment. That means lives lost prematurely and avoidably."


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