Restoring the People’s NHS: Tony O’Sullivan

In the countdown to this year’s General Election, one thing is evident: the NHS will be one of the most important election issues. The stakes are high. The Conservative Party’s rule has wrought unprecedented devastation on the NHS. For the future of the NHS, just as for the rest of life in Britain, positive change is crucial. The country desperately needs a change of government, but also needs a radical change of policies, not least on the NHS and social careBut the solutions on offer from the Labour Party have also disappointed. Labour’s message is that the NHS needs reform, that the call for urgent funding is the simplistic demand of ‘some on the Left’. It argues that the NHS is wasteful and inefficient, and that staff are reluctant to put patients first and ‘modernise’.

Labour’s promise to offer an open door to the private sector is especially troubling. They are mirroring arguments made by the Conservative Government that the NHS model is irreparably flawed. They are wrong and it means the work to restore the NHS will inevitably have to continue whoever wins the next election.

What is sorely needed is the political will to re-establish a national NHS that is publicly funded and delivered, and universally accessible again. The NHS must be funded to extend its capacity, to be there to meet patients’ needs, and to be more open and accountable.

Full story on The Lowdown, 28 February 2024