A letter from senior NHS doctors claims that the coalition government has “weakened and undermined” the NHS.
The letter, signed by 140 leading doctors, launched an attack on the “broken promises” and funding cuts made by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government.
Signatories include the former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr Clare Gerada and the previous director of public health, Professor John Ashton.
One of the doctors’ biggest concerns was the issue of privatisation of the NHS.
The doctors argue that “privatisation not only threatens co-ordinated services but also jeopardises training of our future health care providers and medical research”.
The Tory’s 2012 Health and Social Care Act reassigned between £60-£80 billion of funding to clinical commissioning groups – a major point of access for private health companies.
Pushed through by Conservative former health secretary Andrew Lansley, the act marked the largest structural change in NHS history.
The bill was heavily criticised, and although glanced at in the Conservative manifesto, it was not mentioned in the 2010 elections, nor listed as part of the coalition agreement.
The Conservative party has hit out at the document, which comes only a week after a similar letter from 100 UK business leaders in support of the current government.
A spokesman for the party claimed that this is simply Miliband’s attempt to “weaponise” the NHS and undermine his competition.
Once again, the two main parties appeared locked in a game of “taint the opposition”, using the NHS and other key issues as pawns.
Voters feel they have been left to question the Conservative’s public health record, but many also wonder if Labour can be trusted when NHS privatisation began under Blair.