Reaction to Wes Streeting comments on NHS reform and private sector involvement

Greens on a march in York to defend the NHS

Responding to comments by the Shadow Heath Secretary saying that under a Labour government investment in the NHS would be dependent on reform and that there would be an increased role for the private sector [1], co-leader of the Green Party, Carla Denyer, said: 

“Wes Streeting says that if the NHS doesn’t change, it will die. But it is inadequate funding that has left our NHS in a poor state of health, not lack of reform.  

“Between 2010 and 2019 the UK had a lower level of capital investment in health care and 18% lower average health spending than 14 EU countries [2]. 

“So to say that the public is paying a heavy price for failure is an insult to hard-working NHS staff, who are doing their level best despite being overworked and underpaid. It is the failure to invest adequately and pay staff properly that is at the root of dissatisfaction with the NHS. 

“The public agrees. They don’t want endless reforms; neither do they share the Conservative or Labour appetite for creeping privatisation. They want the current model to work and to see the NHS available to everyone free of charge and primarily funded through taxes [3]. A tax on the super-rich billionaires and multi-millionaires can provide the funds needed to fix our cherished NHS.    

“The Green Party has never had any truck with the profit motive in health care and will continue to push for a fully publicly funded NHS.” 

Notes 

[1] Wes Streeting warns NHS that there’ll be no additional funding without ‘major surgery’ under Labour | The Sun 

[2] How does UK health spending compare across Europe over the past decade? – The Health Foundation  

[3] Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2023 | Nuffield Trust  

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