Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham MP has written to Nigel Farage over mounting evidence that UKIP seek to privatise the NHS.
The letter reads:
Dear Mr Farage,
Yesterday you claimed “Ukip will keep the NHS free at the point of use”. Why should anyone believe this is anything but an opportunistic attempt to cover up your and your party’s longstanding conviction that the NHS should be privatised?
Will you answer the following specific questions about the NHS:
1. Did you tell a meeting in September 2012: “I think we are going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare. Frankly, I would feel more comfortable that my money would return value if I was able to do that through the market place of an insurance company than just us trustingly giving £100bn a year to central government and expecting them to organise the healthcare service from cradle to grave for us”?
2. Can you confirm that your Deputy Leader congratulated the current Government on “bringing a whiff of privatisation into the beleaguered National Health Service” and warned that “the very existence of the NHS stifles competition”?
3. Do you disagree with your new recruit Douglas Carswell who in 2012 called for “open market” in healthcare contracts and in 2013 he supported the Government’s catastrophic top-down reorganisation of the NHS, even calling it, of all things, “modest”?
4. Will you instruct Douglas Carswell, who voted for the Health and Social Care Act, to support Clive Efford MP’s Bill to stop the privatisation of the NHS?
5. Why did you endorse a 2013 article from Jonathan Stanley – in the process describing him as “A UKIP health spokesman” – in which he suggested allowing GPs to “charge a flat fee to see non-emergency cases”?
6. Did you, in 2013, when speaking specifically about jobs in the NHS say, “there is plenty of room for cuts and efficiencies”?
It is clear you have long believed cutting the NHS even further, increasing privatisation and charging patients for vital health services.
Labour, by contrast, has a costed plan to boost the frontline, which you refuse to match.
Andy Burnham MP
Shadow Health Secretary
Video added by Welfare Weekly.