Thank you to all those who have contacted me to raise concerns about NHS privatisation and the state of the NHS.

The NHS is our greatest institution, established 75 years ago to provide universal healthcare free at the point of use. I am committed to upholding its founding principles as a comprehensive, integrated, and public NHS: a right afforded to everyone regardless of ability to pay. I am proud of our local healthcare services and our local healthcare staff in Lewisham Deptford, who deliver for those who need it tirelessly.

Both the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary have pledged to safeguard our NHS as a publicly funded service, free at the point of use. It is not, and never will be, for sale. They will empower commissioners, alongside NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, to act as a bulwark against privatisation. The NHS will be the preferred provider of services, and there will be an end to the reliance on outsourcing.

Right now, one of the major challenges in the health system is that people cannot access healthcare quickly enough. Despite the heroic efforts of staff, waiting lists have risen to record levels – 7.8 million.

I am committed to getting the NHS back on its feet. This is one of the Opposition’s five missions to build a better Britain: building capacity in the NHS – providing it with the staff and resources it needs – so that all patients are treated on time again.

To address the immediate crisis, I support a fully-funded plan to tackle waiting lists – an additional £1.1 billion to pay staff extra to deliver two million more operations, scans and appointments every year, and a £171 million a year investment in state-of-the-art equipment and technology, doubling the number of CT and MRI scanners. These plans will be paid for with the money raised by scrapping the non dom tax status, so that people who make their lives here pay their taxes here.

In the short term, I believe we have a responsibility to utilise spare capacity in the independent sector too, to get through the current crisis and cut NHS waiting lists. Nobody should be left languishing in serious pain, while those who can afford to, pay to go private. That is the two-tier healthcare system that I and my colleagues want to end.

In the long term, I want the NHS to be so good that people never have to go private. I support plans to build an NHS fit for the future by boosting capacity, reforming health and care services to speed up treatment and shift care into the community where possible, harnessing life sciences and technology to reduce preventable illness, and cutting health inequalities. I believe, for example, that by deploying advances in technology such as newly developed AI to interpret chest x-rays, we can reduce outsourcing and speed up care.

Nye Bevan – who spearheaded the creation of the NHS – said in 1948 that “this service must always be changing, growing and improving”. I support a 10-year plan of investment and reform that seeks to do just that: dealing with the root causes and immediate challenges while building an NHS that is fit for the future.

Thank you once again to all those who have contacted me about this issue.

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