Andy Burnham’s letter to Jeremy Hunt, who replaced Andrew Lansley as Secretary of State for Health


Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP

Rt Hon Andrew Lansley MP (Photo credit: NHS Confederation)

It was a great day to see Andrew Lansley being sacked from his role as Secretary of State for Health  but an equally bad day to see that Jeremy Hunt is his replacement. The NHS is not safe in Jeremy Hunt’s hands either.  In the publication, Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party, Jeremy Hunt sets out plans to “breakdown the barriers between private and public provisions, in effect denationalising the provisions of healthcare”

2012_04_280012 Jeremy Hunt preached the minist...

2012_04_280012 Jeremy Hunt (Photo credit: Gwydion M. Williams)

where ” the poor and unemployed would have their contributions supplemented or paid for by the state”.

Andy Burnham has written to Jeremy Hunt asking him to clarify whether he still believes in replacing the NHS with an insurance system.  Here is Andy Burnham’s letter in full (retyped by me):

Dear Jeremy,

Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Health.

You inherit a very different NHS from your predecessor – demoralised and destabilised. Where you work to restore the founding values of the NHS and repair the damage you will have our support. If you continue on the same course, we will speak for the public and NHS staff in providing vigorous opposition.

We repeatedly warned your predecessor that he was making a disastrous mistake by re-organising the NHS at a time of financial stress. This has led to two lost years for the NHS. It has been distracted from the efficiency challenge and patient care has been put at risk.

There have also been serious concerns expressed about the ideological direction of your Government. These intensified yesterday when it emerged that you had co-authored a book, advocating the replacement of the NHS with an insurance based system. I quote a key passage:

“We should fund patients either through the tax system or by way of
universal insurance to purchase health care from the provider of their
choice. The poor and unemployed would have their contributions
supplemented or paid for by the state”.
(Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party, 2005, pg78)

Patients and staff will have serious concerns about these remarks and have a right to know whether you remain of this view. Therefore, I think it is imperative for you to issue an early clarification.

There are also a number of other statements in the book, ‘Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party’, that require further explanation.

1. “Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and
public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain”.
(Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party, 2005, pg78)

Do you remain of the view that the NHS needs to be “denationalised”?

2. “Instead of tinkering with a fundamentally broken machine, it (the
Conservative Party) should offer to upgrade the model”.
(Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a New Model Party, 2005, pg80)

Do you still believe the NHS is a “fundamentally broken machine?

You will of course note that when Labour left office public satisfaction with the NHS was at a record high. Under your Government we have seen the largest ever drop in public satisfaction with the NHS.

I hope you can urgently clarify your position so that people are left in no doubt what your true intentions are for the NHS.

I look forward to hearing from you.

RT HON ANDY BURNHAM MP 

Andy Burnham on brmb

Andy Burnham (Photo credit: Labour)

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About mpswhobetrayedthenhs

I am passionate about the NHS and feel it should be protected as a national treasure and should not be tampered with for party political reasons.
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One Response to Andy Burnham’s letter to Jeremy Hunt, who replaced Andrew Lansley as Secretary of State for Health

  1. Pingback: UK – Jeremy Hunt: I will not tolerate British patients being put at risk – Telegraph « Earl's View

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