Ed Miliband says NHS to be 'defining issue' at next election
Published: 17th Feb 2012 16:24:45
Labour are pledging to make the NHS the "defining issue" at the next election if the government does not drop its plans to overhaul the service.
David Cameron is insisting he will press ahead with reforms to the NHS in England, despite widespread criticism.
Under the proposals, family doctors will have more control over their budgets and there will be a greater role for the private sector.
Labour's Ed Miliband has accused the prime minister of "broken promises".
During a visit to the Royal Bolton Hospital, the Labour leader said Mr Cameron had made "solemn promises" at the last election: "No going back to waiting for hours on end in A&E. Three thousand more midwives. An end to hospital closures. And no more top-down reorganisations."
Mr Miliband accused Mr Cameron of breaking "all these promises and more... it is bad for our NHS and bad for politics".
He said: "Before he became prime minister, David Cameron concealed his plans for creeping privatisation of our National Health Service.
"So people didn't get a vote on these plans at the last election. But I give you my word that if he goes ahead, they will be a defining issue at the next."
The next general election is scheduled to be held in spring 2015.
The main unions and professional bodies representing doctors, nurses and health service staff are now opposed to the proposed changes.
Mr Miliband called at Prime Minister's Questions last week for the bill to be dropped, and is urging the Mr Cameron to "listen to doctors and nurses and the 140,000 who have signed the petition urging him to drop the Bill".
Earlier this week Downing Street insisted ministers were fully behind the reforms and rejected suggestions that Health Secretary Andrew Lansley should be sacked.
Mr Cameron said on Sunday he strongly supported the founding principles of the NHS, including "health care for all, free at the point of use, unrelated to the ability to pay".
But he added: "While the values are right, the system isn't. It needs to change - and that is why I am at one with Andrew Lansley, the reform programme and the legislation going through Parliament."
Following Mr Miliband's comments, health minister Simon Burns said: "Ed Miliband can talk the NHS down all he likes, but the truth is that services are getting better all the time - with shorter waits since the election, 820,000 more people able to access an NHS dentist, 15,000 fewer administrators, 4,000 more doctors and 600 more midwives.
"Our plans deliver control for patients, power for doctors and nurses, and less bureaucracy. Labour still have no plan to help our NHS meet the challenges of the future. Their approach is simply one of cynical opportunism."
At 12:58:39 in EnglandA poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
At 12:58:21 in SportKent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.
At 12:56:04 in ScotlandA hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
At 12:55:09 in BusinessThe sometimes fraught relationship between leaseholders and their freeholders is going to be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
At 12:54:04 in HeadlinesIndia's Supreme Court has ordered the continuing detention of businessman Subrata Roy and asked his firm to come up with a plan to repay its investors.
At 12:53:21 in SportCrystal Palace winger Jason Puncheon has been fined £15,000 by the Football Association and warned about his future conduct for Twitter comments he made in relation to former boss Neil Warnock.
At 12:52:43 in HeadlinesA second witness at the murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has told a court in the capital Pretoria she was awoken by the sounds of a fight early on 14 February 2013.
At 12:42:01 in PoliticsThere is a risk that "deliberate provocation" could give rise to a dangerous incident in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary William Hague has warned.
At 12:41:48 in EnglandA residential treatment programme for addicts which closed in Yeovil is to reopen after the charity running it merged with another organisation.
At 12:40:03 in ScotlandPolice Scotland has exceeded its target to recruit 1,000 additional officers.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Ed Miliband says NHS to be 'defining issue' at next election [Online] (Updated 17th Feb 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/226084/Ed-Miliband-says-NHS-to-be-defining-issue-at-next-election [Accessed 10th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
A hamster has been found abandoned inside a plastic play tube in Edinburgh.
Fawlty Towers star Prunella Scales has "a sort of mild Alzheimer's", her husband Tim West has revealed in the Radio Times.
A poem about the killing of PC Keith Blakelock during riots in north London was written by the man accused of his murder, a court has heard.
Two hospitals missed opportunities to take action against a consultant breast surgeon who was performing unnecessary or incomplete operations, a review has found.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Kent have announced a pre-interest and pre-tax profit of £156,778 for the financial year to November 2013.