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The National Health Service

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 4:06 pm on 23rd October 2019.

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Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley 4:06 pm, 23rd October 2019

Madam Deputy Speaker, you were in the Chair when I was granted an Adjournment debate by Mr Speaker on a subject which I will discuss again today. I was a patient at the time and I came out of hospital to speak.

I have a very long involvement with the health service. I sat on a royal commission on the NHS, having been appointed by Barbara Castle 40 years ago. For me, it is incredible, 40 years on, to still hear the same arguments over and over again. I wish the Health Secretary was in his place. I enjoyed writing a report on hospital complaints in England for the Department of Health when David Cameron was Prime Minister. I was very much hoping to get assurances today that the recommendations we made then have all been acted on. I do not believe that they have been.

I was also on the Welsh hospital board many years ago with Aneurin Bevan’s sister. It is quite useful to have people in this place who are a bit older, who have long memories and who can remember what has been said and done and promised. I remember going to the United States, talking to health professionals there and realising that two thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the US were because of inadequate health insurance. I think that that was still the case when I last checked. I very much hope that that does not become the norm in this country.

As a recent patient, I would like to thank everybody in the English health service and the Welsh health service for their care, because I would not be here today were it not for them.