Prime minister Tony Blair’s plans to reform the National Health Service (NHS) will fail because of his insistence on maintaining state control of it, according to Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.
Smith condemned the government’s failure to accept the need for radical change in the NHS. He said patients, doctors and nurses had become “victims of the system”, which was too centralised to cope with the demands being placed on it.
The prime minister had promised to increase spending, overhaul the way the NHS operated and give a greater role to the private sector, the Tory leader said. But he had failed on all counts. “The NHS is not providing the level of healthcare that people want,” Smith said. Reform must “put patients in charge and bring the policy of command and control to an end”.