Labour plans to scrap the Government’s controversial NHS reforms if they win the next general election, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham (pictured) has said.
Speaking in Parliament during a debate opposing the reforms, Mr Burnham insisted the changes open the door to privatisation within the NHS and undermine the health service in general.
He said that Labour will “repeal the bill” if elected claiming it to be a “defective, sub-optimal piece of legislation” that has left the NHS with a “complicated mess”.
The Shadow Health Secretary added that it would be “irresponsible” to leave the Health Act in place if Labour were elected and added that the “gap between ministers’ complacent statements and people’s real experience of the NHS gets wider every week”.
“They are in denial about the effects of their reorganisation in the real world, it is dangerous complacency and it can’t be allowed to continue.”
Health Minister Simon Burns countered Mr Burnham’s claims by reminding the Leigh MP that Labour leader Ed Miliband had previously said he would keep clinical commissioning in place if elected as prime minister.
But the former Health Secretary insisted “it’s not about the organisations, it’s about the services they provide”.
“The existing organisations can be asked to work differently, as I would ask them to work differently,” he said.
“I don’t want those NHS organisations in outright competition, hospital versus hospital. I want them working collaboratively.”
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