'The Longer The Conservatives Are In Power, The Longer Patients Will Wait', Says Labour

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting pledges to end “Tory miserablism” about the NHS with a massive expansion programme.
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Labour has promised to end “Tory miserablism” about the NHS with a plan to expand its workforce and raise stands for patients.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting confirmed Labour would fund an expansion of the number of NHS doctors and nurses by reversing the decision to scrap the 45p top rate of tax.

It would see 15,000 medical school places guaranteed each year, 10,000 more nursing and midwifery clinical placements each year and training for 5,000 new health visitors each year.

Addressing the final day of the Labour conference, Streeting said: “Our 10 year plan for the NHS will be the antidote to the Tory miserablism about the NHS and its future.”

He added: “Voters won’t accept pouring money into 20th century healthcare that isn’t fit for the future.”

Instead Labour would harness medical science and technology to “transform” patient care through more accurate diagnoses and virtual wards to allow people to receive care at home.

Addressing the current problem of patients struggling to get a GP appointment, he promised that a Labour government will give all patients the ability to book online and pledged to end the 8am scramble for appointments.

He hit out at the government’s target of having a patient see their GP within two weeks, saying they “deserve better”.

Streeting also accused the Tories of failing patients with increased ambulance waiting times and delayed treatment for cancer, saying: “The longer the Conservatives are in power, the longer patients will wait.”

In his speech, Streeting alluded to the story of an 87-year-old pensioner with cancer who was forced to wait 15 hours for an ambulance after he fractured his ribs and pelvis.

“If you want to see a monument to the Conservative Party’s mismanagement of the NHS, it is this.

“This is the state of the NHS in Tory Britain and it is an absolute disgrace.”

He also stuck by the principle of a NHS that is free at the point of use, claiming the model was “under attack”.

“The very principle of an NHS publicly funded, free at the point of use, is now under attack,” he said.

“Conservatives who spent the last 12 years running down the NHS are now using their failures to claim that the NHS is beyond repair.”

Streeting referred to the care he received for kidney cancer, which he was diagnosed with last year.

“When I received that cancer diagnosis there were so many things I worried about, but the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was the bill,” he said.

“So, to those who argue we should abandon a publicly funded NHS free at the point of use I say: over my dead body.”

Concluding his speech, Streeting said: “The cavalry is coming with Labour. So, let’s go out there and win for Labour, win for the NHS and win for Britain.”


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