Last week reports emerged that Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust have been advertising a price list for operations that were once free on the NHS.
Vital procedures such as hip and knee replacements cost up to £18,143, cataracts £2,368 and hernias £7,719, way outside most ordinary people’s budgets.
I spoke up in the Houses of Commons and asked the Leader of the House if the Government will make an urgent statement and allow MPs to debate this scandalous privatisation of NHS services.
Later that afternoon, Warrington and Halton Hospital announced that they would be suspending the services for the time being. I welcomed this news very positively. It is outrageous that people should be expected to pay an extortionate fee for life saving operations.
It is very clear that the pressures the NHS are facing from Central Government due to underfunding are forcing trusts everywhere to set up services like ‘My Choice’ in Warrington.
Vulnerable people are soon going to be backed into a corner and forced to pay to be able to live well. We cannot let this happen, everyone should be entitled to live a healthy life, not just those who can afford treatment.
Even though the outcome from last week was a huge achievement, this is only a suspension, which is why we need to continue to clamp down the pressure on the Government.
My colleagues and I will write to the Secretary of State voicing our major concerns and we will continue the fight to stop the privatisation of the NHS.
The Government can no longer continue to ignore this issue and we cannot let vulnerable people suffer as a consequence.