Privatisation of the NHS is happening, Labour's Isle of Wight parliamentary contender has said.
Stewart Blackmore wants to know how Island MP Andrew Turner will vote on a private members’ bill presented by Labour MP Clive Efford, aimed at reducing the role of private providers in the health service. The full text of the bill, due to be debated in the Commons in October, has yet to be published.
Mr Turner declined to say how he would vote, and told Mr Blackmore he would not comment on something that was not available to read.
Mr Blackmore said the government’s health reforms, supported by Mr Turner, had placed market forces at the heart of the NHS.
"The Labour Party feels it is the Conservatives’ intention to privatise the NHS by 'mission creep’ and this is something people worry about very much, especially given the Island’s large elderly population."
Mr Turner said the reforms did not favour private providers. He said it was for health professionals, not politicians, to decide whether NHS hospitals, voluntary organisations or private providers could best meet the needs of patients.
"This government will not privatise the NHS and will always provide treatment free, regardless of ability to pay."