Healey to Cameron: Stop misrepresenting your NHS changes – and me

12th May, 2011 1:15 pm

John HealeyRt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

11 May 2011

You again misrepresented my position on your Government’s NHS reorganisation today at PMQs, this time in response to Ed Miliband.

It confirms your desperation to claim some support for your NHS reorganisation when you try to pray me in aid as Labour shadow health secretary, when I have been leading arguments against your NHS plans since the early autumn.

This is characteristic of the way you have conducted debate on the NHS. You have simply not been straight. You did not tell people before the Election about your plans for the biggest reorganisation in NHS history. In fact you personally promised the opposite both before the Election and importantly afterwards in your Coalition Agreement, which pledged to “stop the top-down reorganisations of the NHS that have got in the way of patient care”.

Now you continue in a similar way. You and your Ministers fail to tell people the full story about the fundamental changes to the NHS in your health bill. You misrepresent the changes you are forcing on the NHS, just as you misrepresent me.

Below is the Hansard record of my comments from the Opposition Day Debate earlier this week, from which you picked the very first part:

9 May 2011 : Column 913

John Healey: There is nothing wrong with the general aims of the changes, but what the Government are doing is different from what they are saying. In one third of the legislation, they are not setting up GP consortia or reducing bureaucracy in the NHS, but setting up the NHS as a full-blown market. That is the wrong prescription for our NHS, and it is patients who will suffer.

Nobody could see this as a statement of support for your NHS reorganisation.

Once again you are doing what you and the Health Secretary have been doing for some time – misrepresenting those critical of your plans as supporters, not being straight with people and downplaying or denying the far-reaching changes you are making to our health service.

The NHS deserves better.

I look forward to your response.

John Healey MP
Shadow Health Secretary

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