THE Tories “continual push to privatise the NHS” came into sharp focus this week when junior health minister and Thurrock MP Jackie Doyle-Price said she believed people should pay for health care. The comments have provoked a reaction from Thurrock’s Labour Party candidate John Kent.
Ms Doyle-Price was speaking as Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health and Social Care in Thursday’s House Commons debate on cancer screening when she said: “It has always been a mystery to me why we spend £200 a year on an MOT for our car but do not do the same for our own health.”
Mr Kent responded: “This just shows how out of touch our MP is.
“Not only does nobody spend £200 on an MOT – perhaps to get through, but most people would not expect a £200 bill for the certificate.
“Yet most people who work and earn a wage pay considerably more than £200 in tax and especially National Insurance explicitly for their health – that’s what the NHS is for and that’s why we pay the tax.
“If our MP doesn’t understand why people shouldn’t have to pay out another £200 for health checks then you have to wonder why she is a health minister in a government that claims to support our health service.”
He added: “But when our MP speaks in a debate about health, she speaks on behalf of the government. When she speaks as Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health and Social Care, she speaks government policy.
“In this debate she said the Conservative government would not institute cancer screening across the country although it was a party colleague seeking it. This is government policy she is setting out.
“Her belief in private health payments and her obvious lack of faith in the NHSmakes you question this Conservative government’s belief in the NHS.
“Her statement makes it perfectly clear, the NHS is only safe in Labour’s hands; the party that brought the NHS into existence; and the party that believes in the health service’s future.”