Private healthcare discussions ‘toxic’

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Health secretary emphasises talks should not be based on ideology

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has exclaimed that the debate over using private providers in the NHS is “utterly toxic”, and that poor care is inexcusable regardless of who delivers it.

Speaking at a global health conference, the cabinet minister emphasised that he felt “pragmatism and neutrality”  were vital in deciding which organisations are best placed to provide care. He also vented his frustrations about public assumptions linked to political party ideology with regards to discussions.

Public opinion

“If a Labour Party politician  says he or she wants to favour public provision over private provision, the public will suspect that is being done for ideological reasons, not for reasons that put patients first. If a Conservative politician decides to favour the private sector, the public will also think that this is primarily ideological reasons, not for reasons of patient care,” he explained.

He continued “We have GP led commissioning groups that are making the right decisions for patients at a local level and we should embrace whatever is best for those patients as decided by those GP’s.”