BACK in July Labour’s parliamentary candidate, John Kent, called on sitting MP Tory Jackie Doyle-Price to debate with him the future of Orsett Hospital.
“I’ve heard nothing from her,” he said on Monday this week.
“More than a month on and I’ve not heard a peep. I’m not sure if she’s scared of facing me or she’s scared of facing local people on this issue.”
In July Mr Kent said: “Our current MP and health minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, has said the closure of Orsett is the right thing to do.
“I think it is only right she should defend that position to the people of our borough and I’m willing to debate it with her any time, any place, anywhere.”
On Monday he said: “Jackie Doyle – Price has suggested, in the local press, that Orsett is “Clinically not up to standard.” As a health minister, she should know there is no clinical reason to close Orsett, it’s perfectly useable, the background papers for the consultation admitted the hospital is clinically sound and the Thurrock CCG says the same.
“Let her come and explain that to the people who rely on their local hospital.
“And claiming it’s not a ‘real’ hospital doesn’t wash either. We know it can’t deal with emergencies any more, we know it won’t deliver babies, but it does carry out at least 20 different health functions.
“What’s planned is nothing but a money grab. The health department’s bean counters see land they can sell for housing and their eyes light up.”
“So once again I call on her to debate with me, any time, any place, anywhere.
“I know she’ll have the backing of her department of health. I realise they’ll provide her with statistics to prove Orsett should be flattened, but we all know the truth.”