Monday 21 April 2008

Cameron's unhealthy approach to NHS reform

The Tory approach to the NHS is inexplicable for a party that claims to be at the cutting edge of reform. As if to confirm that their policy is decided entirely in the interests of the powerful doctors' union, the BMA, and entirely at variance with the needs of patients, the Tory leader, David Cameron is today reported as launching a barmy petition (copyright old Labour c. 1982) designed to oppose the establishment of polyclinics open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm in favour of only having small GP practices (shut at weekends, no appointments after 5pm) and long waits at A&E. The best health systems in the world recognise that accessible primary care is crucial to keeping A&E costs down and to ensuring better preventative care, especially for people in work who pay for the NHS, but whose needs come last in the often inflexible hours provided by small practices. It is high time the Tories' extraordinarily reactionary health policies were exposed for what they are.

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