Boris Johnson called for the break up of the “monolithic, monopolistic” NHS and praised health systems which have more of a private element in a speech in the House of Commons as a back bench MP.
In a 2002 speech the Prime Minister said that government should examine “the experience of other countries that have a far better record of health care provision … Because they do not rely exclusively on a top-down monopolistic health service of the kind we have in this country. ”
The claim has been repeatedly denied byBoris Johnson, who insists “our NHS will never be for sale”.
ButLaborsay the PM ” cannot be trusted “with the health service.
In an clip unearthed by The Red Roar blog Mr Johnson is also critical of Labor’s decision to remove tax breaks for private healthcare.
He said that “people are being driven to use private medicine in despair at the NHS. There should be no shame in pointing that out. ”
Adding:” I don’t think it should be sacreligious to point out that the NHS is failing “.
He went on to say: “I think it is all very well to treat the NHS as a religion, but it is legitimate for some of us to point out that insofar as it is a religion it is letting down its adherents very, very badly.
In the speech in 2002 he addressed Gordon Brown, saying: “And I think it is quite wrong for the Chacellor to set his face against the experience of other countries who have a far better record of healthcare provision and far better life expectancy, a far better record of dealing with cancer, coronary heart disease.
“And it’s not just because they spend more money on health, but because they do not rely exclusively on a top-down, monopolistic health care service of a kind we have in this country.
“The Chancellor has decided there is only one model for healthcare in this country it’s the NHS model. And he’s decided that it’s unimprovable, except for the addition of more taxpayers’ money and platoons of auditors to swell the ranks of the administrators.
“I think the best auditors of healthcare in this country should be the patients and it would be far better if they were given more control over how their money is spent for their own healthcare. “
General election 2019
In a Telegraph article published the day after his speech, the former columnist gave a more fullsome endorsement of private healthcare praising other countries’ health services: “They all have mixed systems, with a far higher proportion of private insurance. ”
Jonathan Ashworth, Labor’s Shadow Health Secretary,said of the clip: “This proves once and for all that you can’t trust Boris Johnson with our NHS. He wants to break it up and sell it off to the highest bidder.
“The stakes couldn’t be higher – this election will decide whether our NHS is saved for future generations or cut up and auctioned-off. Our NHS is not for sale. ”