Sunday, 29 August 2010

Scrapping NHS Direct A Betrayal Of The Electorate

Well, so much for David Cameron's promises to protect the National Health Service!

The electorate were told during this year's Election campaign that health spending would be ring-fenced and protected from the huge cuts in spending being unleashed on other government departments.

Now the Coalition has announced that the service allowing patients to ring medically-qualified professionals for advice after-hours is being scrapped to save money. And they choose to do this during the summer recess, giving Parliament no opportunity to immediately debate the issues.

A most cynical move that has stunned and upset many voters who have have benefitted from the service. The Coalition can hardly say that this does not amount to cuts in spending on the NHS.

NHS Direct was introduced by the Labour Government in 1998 and has proved immensely popular with people worried about a problem out of hours; able to seek advice without having to wait for hours in A & E at their local hospital to see a doctor or nurse.

Now it is going to be replaced with the new '111' service which will in the main, be staffed by people with only limited medical training.

Former Labour Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott has been extremely quick in lauching an online petition to save NHS Direct. 

There is no doubt that the Coalition is looking for ways in which to save money, but to scrap NHS Direct will undoubtedly put patients' lives at risk, despite what some doctors may say.

This Coalition is hell-bent on wrecking the NHS.

First we had a string of proposals for yet another restructuring of the NHS that it does not need. Now a popular, well-run service is being abolished.

The Coalition have allowed the public some say in what local services should be cut as government spending is reduced in an attempt to bring down the huge Budget deficit we face.

Why haven't the voters been consulted over scrapping NHS Direct?

When David Cameron says that he cares passionately about the NHS, it will be impossible in future to believe a single word he says.

This is an act of total vandalism by a government that has lied to the British people.

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