As regular readers of this blog will know, I am passionate about our National Health Service. It saved my life when I had cancer as a child. My wife and I don’t have private health insurance, so if we or our children get sick it is the NHS we depend.
It was great to hear the Prime Minister set out his personal commitment to the NHS – and rebut Labour’s falsehoods that Conservatives don’t care about our NHS. And it was even better to hear him commit to increasing the NHS budget every year, protecting it from the tough decisions we are going to have to make elsewhere (although with our increasingly elderly population and the high cost of new treatments, even a slightly above inflation increase poses a real challenge to the NHS).
“From Labour last week, we heard the same old rubbish about the Conservatives and the NHS, spreading complete and utter lies.
“I just think: how dare you. It was the Labour Party who gave us the scandal at Mid Staffs - elderly people begging for water and dying of neglect.
“And for me, this is personal. I am someone who has relied on the NHS – whose family knows more than most how important it is, who knows what it’s like to go to hospital night after night with a child in your arms knowing that when you get there, you have people who will care for that child and love that child like their own. How dare they suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people’s children?
“ … We came in and protected the NHS budget funding 6,500 more doctors, 3,300 more nurses, a Cancer Drugs Fund to save lives - more people hearing those two magic words: ‘All clear’.
“And let’s be clear: all this is only possible because we have managed our economy responsibly.
“That is why I can tell you this: we will do it again. The next Conservative Government will protect the NHS budget and continue to invest more.
“Because we know this truth - something Labour will never understand and we will never forget: you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy.”