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Andrew Lansley rebukes Dan Hannan for NHS remarks

Yesterday John Prescott attacked Dan Hannan for criticising Britain's NHS during a visit to the USA.

Paul Waugh has just blogged the Shadow Health Secretary's put down of Mr Hannan:

"There are millions of people who are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS.  It does them and the NHS a disservice for Daniel Hannan to give Americans such a negative and partial view. That we can access healthcare free at point of use, based on need, is something others envy. Our task is to ensure that the quality of care is consistently excellent. And the service is efficient and responsive to patients. Choice, competition and information, focused on outcomes, will deliver this."

Quite unnecessary from Mr Lansley in my opinion.

Dan broke away from his holiday yesterday to explain himself.  Read it here.

The best thing said so far on all this is CentreRight's very own Graeme Archer.  This is what he wrote earlier:

"My experience of the NHS suggests the following. That when it works, as it usually does, it is, without doubt, the envy of the world. But what happens when it doesn't work so well? Keith has a big scar on his left leg, the result of being knocked off a motorbike by an ambulance (I know, the irony - it didn't even take him to hospital) (I'll be in trouble if he reads this too). The particular hospital ward he ended up in for two weeks was badly managed, dirty, and full of evidence of patients left unattended and in distress for too long every day. This is not typical, but it is a fact, as was the powerlessness of the patients in that ward, or their families, to enact any change.  Should I wipe my memory clean, and replace it with a #welovethenhs 140-character paean of praise? Was that which I saw to occur, to real human beings, some sort of false consciousness? Have I committed a political crime, by writing this down? Am I forbidden to share our experience of that NHS ward, because to do so is automatically a 'gaffe'? If #welovethenhs is the end of the debate, what, really, is the point of politics?"

Tim Montgomerie

10pm: David Cameron has blogged in defence of the NHS


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