David Ruffley MP speaks out on the NHS

Thursday, 7 April, 2011

Following this weekÕs announcement by Andrew Lansley MP, Secretary of State for Health, that there will be a review of his health reforms David Ruffley said:

ÒI was in the House of Commons this week to hear the GovernmentÕs announcement that the Health Bill has been put on ÒpauseÓ until the summer.

This is welcome. As I said when interviewed on BBC 2s Newsnight on the 4th of April, I am concerned that good traditional District General Hospitals, like the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, should not be undermined by private firms undercutting them by offering cheaper operations. Mr Lansley needs to give us crystal clear assurances that there are no loopholes in his legislation that will allow that undercutting to arise.

On a more positive note, from 1st April the NHS in Suffolk will enjoy an extra £27 million, to support key Government priorities such as the Cancer Drugs Fund, investment in talking therapies for those with mental health conditions, 4,200 extra health visitors, and support for carerÕs breaks. Spending on healthcare in our local area this year will total £918 million overall. The increase follows the decision by the Coalition Government to protect NHS investment over the next four years.

Across England as a whole, over £89 billion will now be spent on doctor, nurses and frontline services in the NHS-an increase of more than £2.6 billion over the year before.

I recognise just how important the NHS is to my constituents in Suffolk. ThatÕs why the Coalition Government is protecting the NHS not just today, but for future generations.

In the past extra spending was swallowed up as the number of managers increased at five times the rate the number of nurses. That was just plain ridiculous.Ó