Ann Widdecombe, shadow secretary of state for health, has slammed the Labour Party for axing tax relief for the over 65s on private health insurance.
In a letter to Health Insurance, Widdecombe expressed her concern over the policy.
“I have received a large number of letters from worried members of the public, and am currently tackling the Health Secretary on the matter. This decision does indeed appear to be extremely damaging, not to say counterproductive,” she said.
She added those people cancelling their subscriptions to private health insurance would return to the national health service and become NHS dependants.
Referring to co-operation between the private and public sectors, Widdecombe said:
“I believe that use should be made of private health services where it is cost effective to do so. An example might be the use of private residential care facilities to prevent `bed blocking’ by elderly patients,” she said.
The results of a recent Conservative Party survey of healthcare professionals are included in this issue. See page 17.