'It's a broken system with 12 years of poor governance!': MPs clash over NHS under Tories

14 July 2022, 17:53

By Fiona Jones

Labour's Dr Rosena Allin-Khan challenges Tory MP Mark Harper over the state of the NHS which has suffered under "12 years of poor governance."

The pair clashed while on Global Player exclusive news show The Agenda.

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who still works in hospitals alongside her ministerial role, told Mr Harper: "The patients that I see, Mark, they are coming in desperate.

"I've seen patients who have cancer that hasn't been diagnosed because they couldn't get an appointment to see their GP and they couldn't get an appointment - not because their GP was refusing to see them - but because the load was so great because there aren't enough GPs that they couldn't get an appointment for a month.

"The same patients that are actually caring for their young grandchildren."

The Labour MP continued: "I've seen people come in absolutely broken because they've had their operations cancelled through no fault of their own. Who are now in mental health crises and are having their children taken by social services because they are unable to care for them because they are so desperately poor.

"This is a broken system that has had 12 years of poor governance.

"What the Conservatives do very well is they blame the Covid pandemic. The fact is the NHS was in crisis before the pandemic even happened - there was no slack in the system whatsoever."

Dr Rosena said that what the pandemic did was "compound" the problem: "Ultimately it has been failed Tory governments that have let people and communities down."

MP Mark Harper refuted these claims, responding that the NHS has been "the top priority" and "every year got increased resources", to which Dr Rosena claimed "that's rubbish."

He continued: "During the pandemic, literally millions of people either couldn't get treatment or didn't want to get treatment because they were worried. We scared them away from the NHS.

"The NHS has now got a massive problem in picking up several years' worth of patients effectively, and trying to get them through the system. It has put GPs under a tremendous pressure.

"We need to continue putting in the investment and it's going to mean using a few of the things we've learned over the last few years. We now know the NHS can respond incredibly well with new technology, new ways of doing things and it's a combination of that, reform and investment of resources which will get us in a position - in several years' time - where the NHS is back on fighting fit."