An Open email to David Cameron on the NHS

Dear David,

I am writing this as a solo effort, speaking as an individual, at searching for a crossparty consensus on an issue that affects the vulnerable in our society. That issue being the NHS.
As a Labour Party activist you and I will disagree on a lot of things and indeed on some issues I have cause to question your motives, but if there is one issue where we do agree, where I totally believe you to be sincere, and where I have the utmost respect for you, it is your commitment to the National Health Service and that it is one of the greatest instruments that a Labour government has achieved.
So it is that I question why on an institution you have made clear you are commited to keeping, you publicly sit back and let a prominent MEP from your Party go around attacking this great institution, seeing him appear on an american TV station whose political neutrality is questionable and being used to help attack US Governments attempts at bringing forth legislation that would protect many vulnerable and poverty stricken americans!
You may argue that one cannot interfere in US politics. Fair enough, but neither should Dan Hannan. You may also argue that Dan Hannan is right to say what is on his conscience and in some respects that is laudable, but the fact of the matter is, the NHS is an institution which, whilst it has its problems, is popular with the British general public and has helped save many lives and improved the quality of life of many others as a result. You know that, I know that.
So with that in mind, speaking as a lifelong political opponent wishing to bring forth a cross-partisan gesture, surely it would be ideal to help put many people's minds at ease and clarifying what the Conservative Party's policy on the NHS is? Is Dan Hannan speaking out of turn? Would the NHS be protected from any cuts a future Conservative government would make?
Your commitment will never be doubted, but the Conservative Party's commitment is very much in doubt and for good reason. You lead the Conservative Party and therefore perhaps it would be ideal to recieve some clarification from you!
Incidentally, as I will publish this email on my blog, I will be happy to publish any reply you give, should you wish. If you want to reply in private that will be respected.


Paul Burgin
(Labour Party activist, Press Officer North East Herts CLP, and Mars Hill blogger)


Andrew Allison said…
The debate on healthcare is polarised in both Britain and the United States. Our system doesn't provide the best quality of healthcare and neither does the US system. Our system costs too much as a percentage of GDP, as does the US system.

Let's get some real debate going. Let's make sure future generations of Britons have access to a world-class healthcare system, rather than something we hold on to because of well meaning sentimentalism. Let's explore some options, or do you think the rest of Europe, for example, let the citizens down?
neil harding said…
Paul, Andrew, An interesting fact for you. The American taxpayer spends 7% of GDP on healthcare, about the same as the UK taxpayer. We get the NHS, they get 50m people without healthcare causing them to spend another 10% of GDP on private health. Yet they are ranked 37 places below us by the UN and have much higher infant mortality and lower life expectancy. The NHS is not only fairer, it is cheaper.

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