MP Kate Osborne warns time is running out to save our NHS, as she leads debate on its future

Jarrow MP Kate Osborne will today (23 January) warn that the NHS is being pushed into an avoidable and unprecedented collapse, when she leads a debate in the House of Commons chamber on the future of the NHS, its funding and staffing.

And she will call on the Government to end its ideological commitment to the free market, which is forcing through more and more privatisation of our health service, with some government backbenchers openly talking about moving to an Americanised system – where people are priced out of health care.

Ms Osborne secured the debate in response to increasing number of her Jarrow constituents complaining about unacceptable delays in their treatment, of being referred to private health companies by their GPs and being told that routine procedures are no longer available on the NHS.

Kate Osborne will say: “It is undeniable to most of us that the NHS is in crisis and is being pushed into an avoidable and unprecedented collapse.

“The number of people paying privately for operations is up 34% and if that trend continues it will embed a two-tier service in our NHS and price many people out of healthcare.

“There is not a single MP in parliament whose constituents have not been impacted by the crisis – a crisis so bad that nurses took strike action for the first time, and junior doctors have announced they will also take industrial action.”

Kate will speak about the impact on individuals: “When we talk about millions on waiting lists, when we talk about 500 avoidable deaths every week – we are talking about people – there are faces behind those statistics – faces of women who cannot get urgent gynaecological treatment, faces of children who cannot access mental health support, faces of families whose loved ones have died – lives that could have, and should have, been saved – lives that would have been saved if this Government cared about communities and invested in our NHS.

“Too much of what is happening to our NHS is hidden from Parliament and from the public, which is why I value this opportunity to lead a debate to expose the reality of what is happening to a beloved national institution.

“There are hundreds of avoidable deaths every week, hundreds of thousands of NHS and care vacancies and £billions being removed from the NHS budget to be given to private providers.

“With over half of hospital doctors saying they want to leave the NHS, the British Medical Journal saying the government’s failure to protect us is ‘social murder’ and the BMA describing the Prime Minister as ‘delusional’, time is running out.

“This Government has underfunded the NHS to the tune of billions – it has allowed the private sector to run rampant taking hundreds of billions out of the NHS budget over the last ten years. It’s even performed smash and grab raids on hospital repair budgets – taking £4.3bn away – leaving hospitals falling apart, crumbling and leaking at the seams.

“The American news agency CNN last week said ‘Britain’s NHS was once idolized. Now its worst-ever crisis is fuelling a boom in private health care.’ If we are to avoid a two-tier system becoming embedded we must do all we can to secure the NHS’s future now.”