The NHS has always been the Tories’ Achilles Heel, writes David Ellesmere. They opposed its creation and the NHS has usually gone backwards when they have been in government. They always give the impression that they would love to privatise the NHS but know it would be hugely unpopular.
One of the slogans they fear most is: “You Can’t Trust The Tories With The NHS”. They fear it because they know it’s true.
That’s why David Cameron went out of his way to reassure people about the NHS prior to the last election. “We’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS” and “No top-down reorganisation of the NHS” were two key promises – now broken.
Many people who voted Conservative at the last General Election genuinely believed that David Cameron would lead a different kind of Tory government. But it’s clear now that he has comprehensively broken his promises and that his government is inflicting huge damage on the NHS.
The number of people waiting for an operation is at its highest level for six years. The number of people waiting longer than 18 weeks has increased by nearly 60%. Some people are waiting more than a year for an operation.
An increasing number of people are having to wait weeks to get a GP appointment. This is having a knock-on effect on A&E departments. Last year 300,000 sick patients were forced to wait in ambulances because hospitals were too busy. The longest wait was more than eight hours.
The Government has wasted £3billion on its hugely expensive and unnecessary reorganisation of the NHS. The wave of privatisations that this has unleashed is going to end up costing us more in the long run.
Dozens of NHS patients have had their eyes damaged after undergoing operations provided by a private healthcare company at an NHS hospital in Cornwall. Not only does the NHS have to pick up the bill for sorting out these botched operations but it also appears that it could be the NHS which picks up the compensation bill.
This is after only four years in charge of the NHS. What state will the NHS be in if the Tories get another five years at the next General Election?