John Healey MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary, speaking ahead of the first full-scale Parliamentary debate on the Health and Social Care Bill, said:
“With the Tory-driven changes opening up all parts of the NHS to private health companies, patients could lose out as local hospitals are undercut and GPs have to make treatment decisions with one eye on their business bottom line. The Tory-led Government's handling of the health service means patients in some areas are starting to see waiting times rising, operations delayed and services cutback. This big re-organisation will pile extra unnecessary pressure on NHS services and staff.
“Andrew Lansley admits the Tory-led Government's big NHS reorganisation is a risk, but he's forcing it through in the face of warnings from frontline doctors, health experts and patients' groups. With the detail of the plans now out in the open, the more these organisations see, the less they find to support.
“The Conservatives didn't tell people about these plans for the NHS before the election, and they specifically pledged no more top-down internal reorganisations in the Coalition Agreement. With the Government also breaking its pledge on a real increase in NHS funding next year, David Cameron is continuing to break his promises on health.
“People saw big improvements in the NHS with Labour’s reforms. But these gains are now at risk and we could see the NHS going backwards as a result of the Tory-led government’s decision on health.”
John Healey has also written to all Liberal Democrat MPs, calling on them to wake up to the consequences of plans being carried out in their name but driven by Tory ideology:
“This is Conservative not Coalition health policy, and certainly not Lib Dem health policy. [...] As Lib Dem MPs, this is not your policy but it is being done in your name and you will be held responsible by the public for the consequences to our NHS.”