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Britain is ‘sleepwalking’ into the death of the NHS, health campaigners warn

Document reveals Tory frontrunner Liz Truss proposed slashing doctors pay and charging patients to see their GP

CAMPAIGNERS warned that Britain is “sleepwalking” into the death of the NHS after revelations that Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss wanted to impose radical cuts and privatisation on the health service. 

The Foreign secretary co-authored a 44-page document in 2009 where she called for doctors’ pay to be slashed by 10 per cent and for patients to be charged to see their GP.

The document, titled Back to Black, authored when Ms Truss was deputy director of the right-wing Reform think tank, also reveals the Tory leadership contender wanted to “abolish universal child benefit” as well reducing government spending by £28 billion in a single year.

The document also wanted to end “pensioner gimmicks, such as the winter fuel allowance.”

Health campaigners blasted Ms Truss over the proposals.

National campaigns lead for Your NHS Needs You, Marshajane Thompson, told the Star: “We will see deaths because people cannot afford healthcare — but just like Boris Johnson all Tories are happy to see the bodies pile high as long as they continue to get rich.”

Dr Nick Mann, GP and member of Keep Our NHS Public, said: “Charging patients to see a GP is a zombie idea that breaks the fundamental social contract of the NHS. It’s the wrong prescription for the NHS and it will harm patients.

“Make no mistake: charges and privatisation of the NHS is undoubtedly this government’s intention.” 

Liz Peretz of Oxfordshire KONP said: “These are the true colours of the Tories. Destroy the NHS. Let people die while the rich get richer.”

We Own It Lead campaigner John Bosco, said: “Unfortunately for Liz Truss, the public fully support our NHS.

“What they hate are efforts by ideologically driven politicians to undermine the NHS by underfunding and privatising parts of it.”

Labour MPs also warned about the future of the NHS under a Truss premiership.

Brent North MP Barry Gardiner said: “In August 2016, Susan Finley died of the flu — only she didn’t! 

“She died because, after she lost her job in Grand Junction, she couldn’t afford to pay to see a doctor.

“Her condition could have been treated. Her poverty could not. This is the health system Liz Truss wants for you and me.

“The British public are sleepwalking into the final phase of the death of our NHS.”

Labour MP Diane Abbott said: “If Liz Truss becomes prime minister people will be shocked by how right wing she will be.”

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Liz Truss’s track record shows her true colours.

“The reality of her agenda is devastating cuts that risk national security, punishing patients already facing record waiting times, and cutting the pay of front line workers.”

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Star: “Any suggestion that NHS patients should be charged for appointments must be entirely rejected, especially as so many are facing financial uncertainty due to falling wages and the rising cost of living.”

Leicester East MP Claudia Webbe said: “This is not out of step with the last decade of Tory rule.”

“The dangers of sliding towards a US-style private insurance healthcare system cannot be overstated,” she added.

A spokesperson for Ms Truss said: “Co-authoring a document does not mean that someone supports every proposal put forward.”

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