I AM RESPONDING to the article about Dave Watts in the Star on August 7 where he claims that the result of the next General Election will decide the fate of the NHS.
In October 2012, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated with removal and radiotherapy. My treatment under what Watts claims is a “botched re-organisation” was brilliant from diagnosis at St Helens hospital, MRI scans at Whiston to surgery at Broadgreen and radiotherapy at Fazakerley.
Perhaps Watts needs to be reminded why the NHS needed to be re-organised at every level.
When Labour came to office in 1997, they embarked on an ambitious rebuilding programme for our hospitals – great news, we thought. But in a cynical move to keep the borrowing hidden, they handed control of the programme to the private sector under the PFI initiative, landing the NHS with crippling debts but lining the private investors’ pockets.
In 2004 Labour negotiated a new contract with GPs allowing them to opt out of evening and weekend work while at the same time increasing the average salary to more than £100,000 a year. More pay for less work and millions wasted on flying in locum doctors from Europe to provide out of hours cover.
During their time in office, the Labour Government saw a rise in the number of targets imposed on NHS staff, with valuable resources wasted on managers to ensure that these targets were met. The consequence was that targets became more important than patients and so we had the shameful tragedy at Stafford hospital where hundreds of patients died needlessly for lack of care and respect, and since they left office, further examples have come to light.
All in all Dave, your assertion that the fate of the NHS being dependent on the result of the 2015 election is at best laughable.
I seem to remember the private sector being used to treat NHS patients when John Reid was Health Secretary. While there is no doubt that the use of the private sector in the NHS is on the increase, it could be that they are providing a cost effective and efficient service.
Mike Perry, Prescot Road