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The TUC, the NHS and then there was Ed Balls

11 September, 2012

Author: Warren Town

Ed Balls

When you ask a question, you expect an answer. But not if you ask a question of an MP, it would seem.

With anxious anticipation at the TUC in Brighton, the SoR asked Ed Balls what his party would do, if they miraculously gained a majority in the election, to ensure that the NHS would be the provider of choice for health care.

Well I am still trying to decipher the answer but I suppose the only way to describe his response is  – ‘not a lot’.

But this is not surprising and I have said in articles before, we have to accept that it was not the Tories or the Liberals that introduced choice or PFI, introduced the private provider under Independent Sector Treatment Centres and Polyclinics, which paved the way for further development for the entrepreneurial spirit of profit from health.

We can thank Labour for the state of the NHS today and do little to blame the Government for enhancing and promoting what they started.

So when the Shadow Chancellor neatly sidesteps any attempt of stating that the NHS must be protected – are we surprised?

We may be a few years away from the next election but this should not stop the opposition from being strident over the one service that we all hold dear.

Later this month the Labour Party will gather in Manchester to massage the faithful at their annual conference and we would hope they would have something to say about their stance on the future of the NHS. The SoR will be at that conference and will listen carefully to the debates and the rhetoric. We expect that Labour will lead the challenge to promote the NHS, defend the NHS and protect the NHS or will this be one step they will not be prepared to take?

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