Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that the NHS will become “increasingly unaffordable” if plans by the Government to modernise the NHS are not implemented.
Writing in The Times, the PM said that the growing number of people needing health care and rising costs of drugs mean that if the NHS fails to modernise, it is heading for crisis.
“Already our health outcomes lag behind the best in Europe. Without modernisation, the principle we all hold dear – that the NHS is free to all who need it, when they need it – will become unaffordable.”
The article came as the Health and Social Care Bill received its second reading after MPs voted by 321 to 235 in favour.
The Prime Minister explained how the debate over NHS modernization showed “just how much people care about our NHS”.
“Well, let me tell you,” he continued, “I care too. A lot.
“I have huge respect and admiration for our doctors and nurses and I am more determined than ever to deliver a world-class health service for all.”
The Prime Minister went on to dispel the myth that NHS modernisation was a ‘revolution’, pointing out that GP-led commissioning, patient choice, payment-by-results and Foundation Trusts have all existed in one form or another over the past fifteen years.
Most importantly of all, he outlined how the plans will improve patient care.
“Our changes draw on some simple logic – that professionals, not managers or politicians, are best placed to understand the needs of patients. And when you couple that professional freedom for doctors and nurses with choice and transparency for the patient, you get a mix that will expose poor performance and drive standards up.”