Alun Cairns is Conservative MP for the Vale of Glamorgan. Follow Alun on Twitter.
The Health and Social Care Bill has completed its tortuous journey through the parliamentary process. Without doubt it has been dubbed by the press and the Labour Party as one of the Coalition government’s most controversial moves.
I am a strong supporter of the Bill for a number of reasons; I believe it will bring about fresh innovation and new approaches to healthcare that have the opportunity to drive efficiency and value for money in what is the UK’s most treasured public service.
Coming from Wales, however, my constituents won’t benefit from such changes. Labour’s criticisms throughout every part of the extended parliamentary scrutiny, failed to offer an alternative, leaving their model in Wales as an example of their policy outcomes: Cuts in NHS spending, longer waiting times, poor mortality rates and higher infection levels.
So what, if anything, can we learn from Labour’s approach to the NHS in Wales?
Wales is justifiably proud of Aneurin Bevan, the founding father of the NHS. We consider ourselves to be the greatest champions and guardians of the service. Therefore, over the last 15 years and particularly since the advent of devolution, the NHS has been the top priority of the nation and of politicians. Whatever funding was needed, the money would be found. It still accounts for two-fifths of the Welsh budget.