NHS (Private Sector)

Part of Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 7:17 pm on 16th January 2012.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State for Health 7:17 pm, 16th January 2012

I wish I could allay the fears of those people, but when there is a proposal placed at the heart of the NHS for hospitals to devote half their facilities—their beds, their appointments—to private patients, how is it possible to give that guarantee to those patients, particularly when the Government are relaxing the waiting time standards that we did so much to establish in the NHS, with the two-week wait for cancer referrals and 18 weeks for elective operations, and a four-hour wait in A and E? How can we have that confidence when, effectively, the Government are taking those safeguards off the public and giving the green light for a massive expansion of private sector treatment in NHS hospitals?