Philip Davies has criticised an attempt by a Labour MP to stop private organisations providing NHS care, insisting his constituents are better off and can now receive excellent care on their doorstep.
The Shipley MP said his constituents needing hospital treatment would have to go to Bradford Royal Infirmary or Airedale General but since the NHS has been opened up to private provision, his constituents can also be seen at The Yorkshire Clinic in Bingley.
Mr Davies said: “Under current provisions whereby the NHS can actually allow private providers to provide these services, my constituents can now go to The Yorkshire Clinic in my constituency, to have very high quality treatment; it serves them much closer to their homes and is still free at the point of need. As far as I am concerned the essential founding principle of the NHS that must be preserved is, that treatment is free at the point of need. That is what matters to people. What people want when they need healthcare is they want free healthcare at the point of need and high quality healthcare at a very convenient location for them."
The comments came as Labour MP Margaret Greenwood introduced a ten-minute rule Bill to stop the privatisation of the NHS and return it to its founding principles. The proposals by the MP for Wirral West “would remove competition and the profit motive as a driver of policy and replace it with the public service ethos which has been the hallmark of the NHS since its foundation.”
Mr Davies said it was the last Labour government that introduced private sector competition into the NHS and highlighted how private providers were paid more under Labour to care for NHS patients than NHS hospitals were being given.
Part of Mrs Greenwood’s NHS Bill, which will be debated on November 4, would repeal part of the Immigration Act 2014. The particular clause ensures that people coming to the UK for more than six months from outside of the European Economic Area pay a health surcharge along with their immigration application.
Mr Davies added: “Although there are no statistics yet on the revenue from this surcharge, a parliamentary question last year said government estimates it would make around £200 million a year from it from foreign nationals using the NHS.
“By repealing this, in effect she wants foreign nationals to come into the UK and use the NHS free of charge.”