Government accused of 'ripping heart out of NHS'

Conservative leader David Cameron claims Labour has "ripped the heart out of our NHS"
Conservative leader David Cameron claims Labour has "ripped the heart out of our NHS"

David Cameron has launched a scathing attack on the government's NHS reforms, saying Labour has "ripped the heart out" of the health service.

Mr Cameron focused heavily on the NHS in his spring conference speech in Nottingham, claiming the government has turned the NHS into "a vast inhuman machine" and a "sort of pen-pusher's paradise".

Entering the stage to the sound of rock band the Killers, Mr Cameron paused to note that he believes people are not interested in what he got up to at school.

Mr Cameron began his speech by proclaiming the virtues of his shadow cabinet and arguing that Patricia Hewitt was the "worst health secretary we've ever had".

Gordon Brown also came in for criticism, with the Tory leader claiming that the chancellor could not remove spin from politics because he "is spin".

He also noted the overall change in the Conservative party, particularly the increase in female candidates.

But the focus of Mr Cameron's speech remained the changes that he argues should be made in the NHS.

Mr Cameron told delegates: "It used to be said that Labour were the party of the NHS - not any more.

"Labour's pessimism about human nature, Labour's belief that if people aren't told what to do, they'll do the wrong thing. Labour just don't trust people," he elaborated.

The Conservatives announced on Friday that they would launch a three-month consultation on plans to transform public health.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Public health is everyone's responsibility, not just a state responsibility. Labour has failed to respond to public health challenges like the rise in obesity, sexually transmitted disease and alcohol abuse."


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