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Celebrity-backed ‘Pledge for the NHS’ campaign takes off

FRANKIE BOYLE, Stephen Fry, Marcus Brigstocke, Rosie Holt and a host of celebrities are rallying behind a new campaign demanding that this year’s general election candidates take a solid “Pledge for the NHS.”

We Own It is spearheading the campaign, which is launched today and which pushes candidates to commit to making NHS investment levels on par with European counterparts like France and Germany.

A study by the Health Foundation suggests Britain falls short by a whopping £73 billion annually compared to Germany’s healthcare expenditure.

Compared to France’s spend on healthcare, the same study suggests the NHS’s budget is £40bn less.

The campaign also calls for NHS services that are outsourced to for-profit companies to be brought back into the NHS as contracts end.

Commenting on the campaign, comedian Mr Boyle said: “The NHS has been strategically underfunded by successive governments to facilitate its gradual privatisation.

“The NHS should be robustly protected from those who seek to turn medical needs into profits.

“We only need to look to the US to see the life-altering medical bills people can be landed with under a privatised system.”

“Health provision should be entirely nationalised and markets should have no place in something as important as healthcare provision.”

The campaign also seeks to restore the Health Secretary’s legal duty to provide healthcare for all, which was scrapped by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

Campaigners argue this would enable families who have lost loved ones to hold the government to account in court.

We Own It lead campaigner Johnbosco Nwogbo said: “Politicians don’t always do what they promise, but they hardly ever do good things that they didn’t promise. 

“That’s why we must push for bold commitments to end wasteful outsourcing, fund our NHS in line with the rest of Europe, and protect it for future generations."

The campaign has launched a letter-writing tool that allows members of the public to call on their parliamentary candidates to sign up to the pledge which can be accessed on the We Own It website.

There will be an online launch rally for the campaign at 6pm tonight which will be attended by celebrity supporters.

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