I want to talk to you about our National Health Service.
Our NHS is our greatest institution, our greatest invention, our greatest achievement as a society. Since 1948, it has saved millions of lives, and helped millions of people live longer.
Everyone in West Brom knows someone who works for the NHS. Every family in West Brom has a story to tell about the NHS.
My story is simple – as a community leader, I stood up to local gangs who were terrorising the neighbourhood.
I was shot in the stomach.
It was the wonderful doctors and nurses of the NHS who saved my life, and helped me make a full recovery.
The NHS is the embodiment of everything that’s decent about our society.
But our wonderful NHS is under threat.
Under the Tories, local NHS services have been starved of resources.
There are not enough doctors and nurses.
Not enough mental health specialists.
Public health campaigns against obesity and smoking have been cut.
Last year, Tory underfunding forced the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust to cancel 1,066 operations.
And if Boris Johnson wins, the NHS will be up for sale to American multinationals as part of a free trade deal with Donald Trump.
So as your Labour MP, I promise the following five-point plan for the NHS
- The NHS must stay free at the point of use, regardless of your ability to pay. The founding principles of the NHS are non-negotiable.
- We will get the cash our local NHS needs – more doctors, more nurses, tackling the backlog of repairs, and bringing down the waiting lists for urgent operations.
- We will make mental health as important within the NHS as physical health. That means early diagnosis, early treatment and timely help, especially for young people through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
- We will shift resources to helping people live longer, healthier lives, through stopping smoking, sensible diets, access to gyms, cycling and swimming, and less stress and anxiety. My friend Tom Watson is an inspiration to us all when it comes to getting healthy and fighting diabetes.
- We will tackle the terrible injustice that means people in West Bromwich live shorter, unhealthier lives, than people in leafy suburbs. Did you know for example that a man in Greet’s Green and Lyng is likely on average to live for 75.5 years, four years less than the national average.
That means more resources in deprived and disadvantaged neighbourhoods and estates, so that we get the healthcare in the places that need it the most.
I love the NHS and I am proud of its staff.
That’s why as your Labour MP I will fight every day to save the NHS and rebuild for the future.
If you’d like to get in touch, please contact me.