Andy Burnham, shadow health secretary, has
challenged Jeremy Hunt, the new health secretary, to confirm whether he still
wishes to replace the NHS with an insurance system.
The publication, ‘Direct Democracy: An Agenda for a
New Model Party’, co-authored by Jeremy Hunt sets out plans to “breakdown the
barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the
provision of healthcare” where “the poor and unemployed would have their contributions
supplemented or paid for by the state”.
The controversial plans have similarities to recent
government legislation and Burnham says it sets out an even more worrying
possible direction of travel opening up under the leadership of Jeremy Hunt.
Andy Burnham says,“The N in NHS is now under
sustained attack from this government - it is being de-nationalised in the way
Jeremy Hunt proposed. Never has an incoming health secretary made such overt
statements about replacing the NHS with an insurance system. His obvious lack
of belief in what the NHS stands for will be a huge worry to patients and
staff. They have a right to know whether he stands by his earlier remarks.”
Private medical insurance news: 13 September 2012