National Health Service

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 4:17 pm on 26th January 1993.

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Photo of David Blunkett David Blunkett Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 4:17 pm, 26th January 1993

My hon. Friend is quite right. In 1987, when we last had a crisis in the health service—not the worst for 30 years, as the British Medical Association described this one, but so serious that the last Prime Minister had to decide to demolish the whole NHS so that it could be dealt with—there were 100,000 fewer people on waiting lists, and children such as the one to whom my hon. Friend has referred were being admitted and dealt with before minor cases.

The Government have simply devised a new, bizarre and irrational way of running out of money. The doctors are there, the nurses are there and the hospital wards are there, but the contracts have run out. Whatever increase there has been in productivity has been dissipated by the system that is currently being operated. A person with a serious but non-life-threatening ailment cannot get in to hospital, but when a person from a GP fund-holding practice has a minor illness, care can be bought.