NHS and the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill.
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The Government has always been clear that it is committed to protecting the NHS. That is why it has increased spending for the NHS and why it has guaranteed that it will always provide treatment free, regardless of ability to pay. It will not privatise the NHS.
In my view, giving operational control for the day-to-day running of services to doctors was the right decision - but it has always been clear that Ministers are responsible for the NHS, and I am proud of its performance in challenging circumstances. The Government's health reforms have focused on the role of the GP, believing that they are best placed to commission local health services as they have the best understanding of local needs.

The use of private providers in the delivery of NHS services is not a new concept. The Government's health reforms do not favour any particular type or ownership of provider. They preclude the Department of Health, NHS England and Monitor from pursuing policies which would seek to increase the market share of, for example, independent providers. It is for local NHS commissioners to decide, not the Government, which providers - whether from the public, private or voluntary sectors - can best meet the needs of their patients and deliver high quality care. Any use of private or other types of provider will be a result of decisions by commissioners taken in the best interests of their patients, never as an end in itself.

I simply donít accept the claim that the NHS is at risk from the TTIP Trade Deal.

The Government is committed to an NHS that is always there for everyone who needs it, funded from general taxation and free at the point of use. TTIP could not change this.

It will continue to be for EU member states to make decisions about whether and to what extent they involve the private sector in the provision of public services. The European Commission's chief negotiator on TTIP has confirmed in writing that EU countries will be free to decide how they run their public health systems. This letter is published on the Commission's website at: ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/press/frontpage/2014/14_72_en

The TTIP would be the largest bilateral trade agreement in the world and would bring significant economic benefits in terms of jobs and growth, with the potential to deliver £10 billion to the UK economy each year. That is why I support it so strongly.


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