All of us have our personal reasons to be thankful for our NHS — whether NHS doctors saved the life of a loved one, or an NHS nurse took care of our elderly parents and grandparents, or an NHS midwife welcomed our children into the world.
It is one of our country's very proudest achievements and the envy of the world. But today it is facing one of the greatest threats since its foundation.
Our health service has been going backwards under this government. Two-thirds of nurses say patients are now missing out on care because there just aren't enough nurses on the wards.
Patients have been stuck outside hospitals in ambulances because their A&E is full. Seriously ill people are waiting for treatment lying on trolleys in corridors for hours.
None of this happened by accident. It happened as a direct result of choices this government has made — a government that has opened the door to a creeping privatisation of our NHS.
It now falls to us to rescue our NHS from David Cameron and his government. If the Conservatives are returned to power for another five years, the NHS will not get the money it needs and will face a rising tide of privatisation.
Our health service desperately needs a better plan — one that puts the right values back at its heart: care, compassion and co-operation; not competition, fragmentation and privatisation.
Labour is the only party whose plans are both fully funded and based on the principle that those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden. If Labour wins this election, we will start getting these extra resources into the NHS immediately:
- We will bring a Mansion Tax and tobacco levy into effect in the very first year — enabling us to train and hire thousands more doctors, nurses, care-workers and midwives;
- We will immediately halt the cos and chaos of privatisation in our National Health Service;
- We will cap the profits private companies can make from care;
- We will repeal the Tories' Health and Social Care Act within the first 100 days of a Labour government.
By saving resources on privatisation and competition, and hiring more nurses, more doctors, and more care workers, we will end the scandal of patients having to wait hours to be seen in A&E, days for a GP appointment and weeks for vital test results.
Labour's commitment to the NHS is part of who we are. Let's save our NHS: let's elect a Labour government.